Despite having announced as many as 600 job losses last month, Aston Martin will continue to have 'a strong presence' in endurance racing in 2009 and will 'definitely be seen at Le Mans', David Richards has confirmed.

Richards' Banbury-based, independent Prodrive operation has masterminded Aston Martin Racing's sportscar endeavours in recent years, with back-to-back GT1 class triumphs in the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours round-the-clock classic in 2007 and 2008, seeing off the threat of the mighty Corvette in the process.

Though it was revealed in early December that up to 300 permanent and 300 temporary jobs were to be axed at the luxury car maker's Gaydon plant as a result of the current credit crunch sweeping the globe, and despite other manufacturers such as Audi having significantly cut back on their Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series schedules, Richards is confident that AMR will be well-represented on the grid over the upcoming campaign.

"We're not going to announce our programme until a little later in the year," the 56-year-old told Crash.net Radio. "We've got a few things still to sort out yet, but take it from me that we will have a very strong presence in sportscar racing this year - and we'll definitely be seen at Le Mans."

by Russell Atkins

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