The historic Ecurie Ecosse name is set to return to international racing this year in July's 24 Hours of Spa with a GT3-spec Aston Martin DBRS9.
“This is a very exciting development for Ecurie Ecosse. I have been looking for an opportunity to take the team back into sportscar racing for some time, but the overall package had to be right,” says team boss Hugh McCraig, who Is hoping to build on the Spa entry with a return to the Le Mans 24 Hours. “Now, with a team of ambitious and talented young drivers, together with a competitive manufacturer-backed car run by experienced engineers, I am extremely pleased that we can now take this major step forward. We have partnered with Aston Martin before and it is great to be doing it again some 20 years later. Ultimately we want to be back at Le Mans and this is a fantastic starting point.”
Running of the car will be sub-contracted out to Barwell Motorsport, already a highly successful Aston Martin Racing Partner Team, with Alasdair McCaig, Andrew Smith, Joe Twyman and Oliver Bryant the men to take turns behind the wheel around the 6.9km Belgian circuit.
All four drivers have a experience in both historic racing and modern GT competition, Bryant's CV – which includes British and FIA GT outings – a standout among the quartet. Joe Twyman was part of the Jota Sport team which won the GT4 class at the 24 Hours of Spa last season.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Ecurie Ecosse comeback,” says Bryant. “Our drivers all have substantial experience racing at Spa, and we have all driven together successfully before. The DBRS9 GT3 is also extremely well suited to the fast, flowing nature of Spa, and having tested it before myself, I have no doubt that our combination of car, drivers and team will be highly competitive.”
July's race will be Ecurie Ecosse's first entry in international level motorsport since the 1990s when the team ran Vauxhalls in the British Touring Car Championship. The team's biggest victories, however, came in the 1950s, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1956 and '57. The history of the team has included a number of illustrious drivers, including Scots David Leslie, David Coulthard and Allan McNish.
“I am very pleased that Ecurie Ecosse is returning to Sportscars, it has such fantastic heritage in this arena with its legendary Le Mans wins and it will be nice to see the dark blue flags flying once again,” says McNish. “The team has supported so many famous Scottish drivers making their way in the sport, including Le Mans winners, Indy 500 winners and F1 world champions. Ecurie Ecosse really has been an integral part of the very successful Scottish motorsport story past and present.”
The team have already raised part of the budget necessary, and negotiations are currently underway to secure Ecurie Ecosse's place on the grid.