Aston Martin will begin its Grand-Am campaign during the first round of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) at the Daytona International Speedway.
Making a return to domestic competition in North America, Aston Martin Racing has joined forces with Toronto-based Multimatic Motorsports to enter a pair of Vantage GT4s in the Grand American Road Racing series.
Multimatic stalwarts and proven race-winners Scott Maxwell and Joe Foster will drive the lead car, while Hollywood movie star Patrick Dempsey, a talented racer in his own right, will drive the second car. Chris Porritt, Aston Martin’s Chief Engineer and vastly experienced Vantage GT4 driver, will compete alongside Dempsey in a one-off guest appearance.
The first round of the 2012 CTSCC will run in support of the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona, running for two and a half hours with a mandatory driver change. The team will compete in the headlining Grand Sport category, which is contested by six- and eight-cylinder production-derived sports cars. The opening round of the championship follows a highly successful three-day test session earlier in the month, during which the newly delivered Vantage GT4 thoroughly impressed the Multimatic team having set encouraging lap times.
David King, Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport said: “The first round of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Daytona will see Aston Martin realise a long-held desire to have the Vantage GT4 competing regularly in North America. Aston Martin Racing has built and sold nearly 100 Vantage GT4s since we raced the first one at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race in 2006, and it’s great to be present at last in such an important market with such a strong and experienced partner as Multimatic.”
Larry Holt, Vice President of Multimatic Engineering added: "My team have been hugely impressed by the build quality of the cars as received from Aston Martin Racing and we are very proud to be appointed as the official team to run the Vantage GT4s in the Grand-Am series throughout 2012. Our drivers love the car already and I'm sure they will be a big hit with the race fans, too."
The race gets underway at midday (1200hrs) local time after a qualifying session on Thursday, 26th January.