A new team with some experienced and successful old hands is joining forces to put the Aston Martin name on the grid for the 2010 Avon Tyres British GT Championship.
Vantage Racing - whose chief advisor is sports car legend Hugh Chamberlain - will shortly be taking delivery of a factory-fresh DBRS9. The Aston will be driven by team principal Tom Black and multiple British GT race-winner Stuart Hall.
Chamberlain believes the duo will have a strong chance in a GT3 field which is daily growing in size and stature: "I am very happy that Tom has decided to step up to British GT, and I'm very happy that we have the kit to do a good job; I'm looking forward to the challenge," he said.
Vantage Racing was formed by Black in 2008, and its chief engineer is ex-Chamberlain Engineering employee Steve Hay. The team guided Black through his first steps in racing that season and paired him with Hall in a GT4 Aston in club sports car racing last year.
"Tom is very much a brand new driver," Chamberlain added. "We were very happy with his progress in 2009; by the end of the season he was a lot closer to Stuart's pace."
"Having really enjoyed my first two seasons in GT racing I'm delighted to be stepping up to GT3 in such a competitive car,” Black continued. “With the depth of driving and support experience we now have on-board at Vantage Racing, I'm confident that we will be competitive in 2010."
Twenty-five-year-old Hall won two British GT races in 2009, adding to a racing CV which bears testimony to his prowess in single-seaters and sports cars. Hall was fourth overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2007 at the wheel of a Pescarolo.
Chamberlain's is one of the best known names in British motorsport. Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Chamberlain-managed teams have won three sports car world championships, two European championships and nine national championships, as well as numerous class wins at Le Mans.
Chamberlain's return to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, and the Vantage Team's support, is welcomed by series manager Benjamin Franasovicci.
"It is great news for the championship that a competitor of Hugh's experience and standing is supporting us for 2010. Things are moving ahead well: the GT3 class is looking more than healthy and there is strong interest also in GTC and GT4."
The new 'compact' eight-meeting/14-round format of the championship is proving a major attraction for time-stretched competitors, reports Franasovicci: "Having both races on the same day and extra track time on Saturday for testing means one fewer night away for teams and drivers, and therefore less expense."