24 Hours of Le Mans

ESM Withdraw From Le Mans, Fifth AMR Vantage Promoted To Grid

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ESM's 2012 season, and potentially their GTE program, ended with victory at Petit Le Mans (Photo Credit: ferrari.com)

Extreme Speed Motorsport have confirmed the withdrawal of their LMGTE Am Ferrari 458 from the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Their exit opens a space for fifth Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage on the grid for the race (June 22-23).

ESM earned their place on the grid as a team invited from the American Le Mans Series at the end of a season which culminated in a GT class victory at the season ending Petit Le Mans. However, over the winter the team have completed a move up the ALMS grid to P2, where they will start the season with a pair of HPD ARX-03b at the 12 Hours of Sebring later this month.

As is customary their place on the 56 car grid goes to the first reserve for the GTE classes, with Aston Martin Racing allowed to change their fifth entry from LMGTE Am to LMGTE Pro, where is becomes the third V8 Vantage and the twelfth car for the class.

“We are delighted to have received the news of a fifth entry into the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said AMR managing director John Gaw. “To have been named as first reserve was good news in itself and we kept our fingers crossed that it would be upgraded to a full entry. To have it confirmed so quickly is great news as it allows us extra preparation time.”

Speaking to theCheckeredFlag.co.uk at the launch, last month, of Aston Martin Racing’s 2013 racing program Gaw spoke of the possibility of adding further races to the schedule for the fifth works car should it find a place on the Le Mans grid. Read the full interview here.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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