Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Of North America Announced For 2014

By John Beltz Snyder

October 18, 2013

A new one-make racing series featuring the Aston Martin Vantage GT4, called the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Of North America, will begin next year. TRG-AMR, Aston Martin’s partner team in our fine continent, announced the series at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The series, based on the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Of Britain, will consist of eight races in the US and Canada. The series will kick off in April 2014 at Road Atlanta, and will finish at Sebring in November.
The Aston Martin Vantage GT4 uses the same engine, chassis, and drivetrain as the V8 Vantage, but features an upgraded suspension, full roll cage, stripped interior, and centrally mounted bagged fuel tank. The aerodynamics package includes a larger front splitter and, most noticeably, an adjustable carbon fiber rear wing. Each car in the series will receive P-Zero racing tyres from Pirelli.
From what we can tell so far, it seems as though this GT series will offer a very standard level of performance from the vehicles themselves, so much of the actual racing will rely largely on driver skill, and less on technological advantages. Sounds like a good time to us.
Scroll down to read the official press release, which also includes the complete 2014 schedule.
Gaydon, 18 October 2013 – Aston Martin Racing’s North American partner team, TRG-AMR, has unveiled a new one-make series for the Vantage GT4; the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America.
The eight-race series, unveiled earlier today (18 October) at the final round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Road Atlanta, is based on the successful Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain, which is now in the planning stages for a fifth consecutive season.
Like its British counterpart, the GT4 Challenge of North America visits some of the top locations that the region has to offer, starting with Road Atlanta in April and ending in Sebring in November.
“We are understandably excited about this schedule and the quality of the tracks where we will be racing,” explains GT4 Challenge Series Director LisaKay Foyle. “These venues are, without question, among the best road courses available here and we are very proud to be able to offer our teams and drivers the chance to fulfill their dreams of racing Aston Martins on these amazing circuits.”
The Vantage GT4, like all current Aston Martin Racing cars, is based on the sportiest car in the luxury manufacturer’s range, the Vantage. Sharing the same chassis, V8 engine and drivetrain, including the semi-automatic paddle-shift system, the Vantage GT4 has upgraded race-specification springs and dampers and stiffened front and rear anti-roll bars.
The interior has been stripped and a centrally-mounted bagged fuel tank inserted, which improves weight distribution and allows for twin quick-fuel entries. The car has the same FIA-approved roll cage used in all Aston Martin Racing cars, including the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) specification Vantage GTE.
The latest specification Vantage GT4 has a new aerodynamic package. This comprises an adjustable carbon fibre rear wing working in conjunction with a larger front splitter to increase downforce and enhance dynamic performance. With nearly 300kg of weight reductions and with than 400bhp available, the GT4 is the perfect entry to GT racing.
“This series will without a doubt capture the heart, dreams and passion of our Aston Martin racing drivers,” comments TRG-AMR North America CEO Kevin Buckler. “It will reflect the sophistication and performance of the brand and provide memories of a lifetime in a competition that will be fun, but challenging. We have been working for months to put all the details in place and we are all set. The schedule is simply amazing and it was a personal dream of our entire team to race at some of the finest venues across North America and turn our race weekends into fantastic and complete lifestyle events."
The series will be supported by official tyre supplier Pirelli, which will provide Pirelli P-Zero racing tyres to each of the competitors.
“This is the perfect brand fit,” comments Pirelli North America’s Director of Motorsports Operations, Rafael Navarro. “We are both premium companies that complement each other extremely well. TRG's Aston Martin racing programme has been on our radar since they began. We are excited to support the new series and to come on board as the official tyre partner.”
Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw concludes: "It is particularly exciting to see TRG-AMR North America make this announcement today. 2013 was always going to be a transitional year but what Kevin and his team have focused on is getting the right people in the right place to shape the future and now, with a terrific team in place, this announcement is evidence of real progress that will bring a great programme to the Aston Martin owners of North America.
“And, the GT4 has been developed for not only the GT4 Challenge series, but it is also homologated to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge.  The H-pattern gearbox is eligible to compete in both the PWC and the Continental Tire Series Championship; both types of shifting mechanisms are eligible to compete in the new Challenge.”
Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America 2014 schedule
April 11-13        Road Atlanta
May 16-18        Watkins Glen
June 6-8        Virginia International Raceway
July 25-27        Circuit Mont Tremblant
August 29-31        Laguna Seca
October 10-12        Road America
November 21-23       Sebring International Raceway