2013 is a very big year for Aston Martin, with the marque celebrating its centenary while preparing a four car works effort for the FIA World Endurance Championship as part of a packed racing program that spreads around the world in a slightly sun never sets on the British Empire manner. After a single new GT3 Vantage for the full 2012 season three start 2013, with more expected later in the season.
#6 – Phil Dryburgh/John Gaw
The new name for the Cyber Racing team that competed in the final two rounds of 2012 with Aston Martin Racing managing director John Gaw and long-term racing teammate Phil Dryburgh. Both men realise are unlikely to be challenging for overall glory, racing instead for the enjoyment though they could become a factor in the gentleman’s trophy.
#7 – Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam
Certainly the strongest Aston Martin line-up as the start of the season approaches with Howard and Adam starting their third season driving together in the championship. A strong debut year for the GT3 Vantage should have yielded more than just a single win, with problems striking them down at Silverstone and Donington Park and a flat tyre spitting Howard into the turn one wall at Rockingham. All three incidents cost the pairing championship spoiling points in the longer races. When things go right they have proved to be a strong pairing, former Clio Cup champion Adam establishing a reputation as one of the fastest drivers in British GT with drives in the mould of his second hour stint at Brands Hatch last season that set up the closest finish in series history.
With the Vantages teething troubles behind them and with more luck in the season’s big races they are potential race winners, and potential champions.
#80 – Mark Poole/Richard Abra
Poole and Abra, one part of Barwell, three car-two brand team for 2013 are the unknown arrow in the Aston Martin salvo in this year’s field.
The two – especially Abra – have proved quick elsewhere in Aston Martin GT4 Challenge and in the British Endurance Championship where they formed half of the Britcar 24 Hour winning line-up before they gave their new Vantage GT3 a debut at the end of last season, Abra taking pole position and leading throughout his opening stint only for a sudden rain shower to catch out Poole.
Abra could yet surprise though ultimately where his and the team’s combined pace leaves them in the deeper – and more evenly matched – field of British GT will be one element of an intriguing combine when the full field runs together for the first time in Saturday morning’s first practice session.