Reigning European Le Mans Series GTE Champions Beechdean Aston Martin Racing have announced they will return to defend their title in 2017, with Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn.
Beechdean AMR team owner Howard and veteran racer Turner both continue with the outfit after teaming up with Alex Macdowall in 2016, while Gunn continues his Aston Martin Racing partnership by stepping up into ELMS this season.
Howard admitted that Turner helped him come to terms with the GTE machinery in 2016, and although AMR will be bringing an updated V8 Vantage GTE into the championship this year, he feels more confident this time around.
“It’s great to be back in the ELMS championship for a second year,” admitted Howard. “Working with Darren in 2016 was essential to my improvement in the GTE car. The car is going to be very different, but last year is a great base to learn from.”
Turner acknowledges that defending the title he helped win for the team last year will be difficult, but is looking to working alongside both Howard and Gunn to try and make that happen.
“It’s very exciting to go back and race in the ELMS with Beechdean again this year,” said Turner. “It’s always good to race with Andrew and I’m looking forward to racing with Ross for the first time.
“We had some good races last year and we were lucky at the last round to snatch the championship. I think this year will be equally difficult with even more competition but hopefully we will be in a position to fight for the championship when we get to the last round.”
Gunn moves to ELMS from British GT, and the AMR Factory driver is excited to be beginning the next stage of his blossoming career, with the first race of the year coming at Silverstone in April.
“To be stepping up to the European Le Mans Series with the reigning champions is a dream come true,” said Gunn. “Alongside my British GT commitments in 2016, I went to all of the ELMS races bar one to shadow the team and learn as much as possible.
“Driving with Andrew and Darren will be invaluable. I’m really excited about this step in my career and I will be pushing hard for results.”