You know what they say about Aston Martin motorsport news, you wait for ages and then two stories come along at once. Alongside its AMR Drivers' Club, which aims to get owners behind the wheel of the latest Aston machinery, the manufacturer has now announced the creation of Aston Martin Heritage Racing, an initiative that "unites the company's assorted historic motorsport activities under one banner."
Most excitingly, it means the creation of the Aston Martin Historic Racing Festival Series; building on the Le Mans Festival runs that have taken place in 2012, 2015 and 2018, the championship will now be comprised of two race events in 2019, with more scheduled for 2020 and 2021. Described as a "celebration of Aston Martin's 21st century competition success", the series is open to everything racy Aston has made since the turn of the millennium - bar the latest Vantages and the LMP1 cars. So that means cars like the glorious DBR9 GT1 car, the GTE Vantage that so memorably won its Le Mans class in 2017, and its V12 GT3 equivalent that has melted the hearts (and the eardrums) of all around for the past few years.
For 2019 there will be races at Silverstone Classic and Spa Classic, with pit stop races allowing for one or two drivers. Apparently a "strict code of respectful driving will be encouraged and enforced", with Darren Turner advising. Celebrity drivers will be invited, parties will be organised for the weekend and "selected friends of Aston Martin will also be in attendance." Best get hunting for a race car now...
Beyond that, Aston is now automotive partner for Masters Historic Racing, meaning it will provide pace cars and course cars for the races, and title partner of the Aston Martin Endurance Legends Series. Odd that it hasn't happened before, but as a series for race cars from 1995-2012, it makes sense for Aston to be associated as part of the push to involve more modern-historic racers in the classic motorsport portfolio. The series, known as AMMEL if you're cool, "treats spectators and fans to an evocative taste of top-level endurance racing featuring many of their favourite modern classic machines." This year's races will take place at Paul Ricard, Monza, Magny Cours, Silverstone, Nurburgring and Spa.
There's more, too. An Aston Martin Heritage Racing Track Experience is all new. Essentially tagged on to selected Masters Historic Racing weekends, it will allow existing and prospective customers time on road and track in new Aston road cars, plus "enjoying first class hospitality and the spectacle of Europe's best historic racing." Lovely.
Customers are invited to get involved now via AMHR@astonmartin.com, with the inaugural 2019 AMMEL race in March at Paul Ricard, alongside the first Masters Historic Racing weekend of the season. If you love Astons old and new, it sounds like the place to be!