A fifth factory Aston Martin Racing entry has been added to the field for the Le Mans 24 Hours after the withdrawal of the Extreme Speed Motorsport team from the French classic.

ESM had secured an entry in the GTE-Am class with its Ferrari 458 Italia but has since elected to switch its American Le Mans Series programme from the Ferrari to an LMP2 class HPD ARX-03b.

As such, the American team has withdrawn from Le Mans, promoting the #98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 into the field.

Although initially listed on the entry as being in the GTE-Am class, the car will instead race in GTE-Pro, making a round dozen cars in 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," team principal John Gaw said. "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.

"In this significant year for both Le Mans and Aston Martin, we would particularly like to thank the ACO for reclassifying the car from the Am to the Pro class. The 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE line-up is extremely competitive and the extra Pro class entry has further supported our ambitions in the category.

"This year is important for Aston Martin as it celebrates its centenary year, and having five cars on the grid for the biggest event on the motorsport calendar is a fitting way to celebrate."

The full driver line-up for the car will be announced at a later date, although Dane Cameron and Richie Stanaway will both test with the team at Road Atlanta next week as AMR continues preparations for the upcoming Sebring 12 Hours.

The #75 Prospeed Competition Porsche is now first GTE reserve on the entry list should there be any additional withdrawals.


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