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Official First Day of Competition in Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America
Posted by: newsla on May 17, 2014 - 10:34 AM
Sports Cars
Official First Day of Competition in Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America

Today marks the worldwide debut of The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America at the legendary Watkins Glen International road course in upstate New York.


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A strong field of Aston Martin enthusiasts and race-aspiring sportsman drivers have answered the call of the new GT4 Challenge series and kick-off the first three-day weekend of competition in series history with opening practice today.

Not just the current Watkins Glen circuit will factor into Friday's historic day of activities for the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge competitors. After today's opening sessions, the GT4 Challenge drivers will travel back in time as they get the rare opportunity to follow in the same tracks of racing greats when they drive the hallowed ground of the original Watkins Glen road course.

Saturday's on-track schedule at The Glen includes a practice session at 8:30 a.m., qualifying of the inaugural race from 1:00 p.m. - 1:25 p.m. and the green flag for Race One at 4:15 p.m. Sunday includes more practice and qualifying and the weekend's second and final sprint race of competition for The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America.

Jeff Yeakel, Series Director, has his perspective on the first-year series:

"The GT4 Challenge Series has shaped into an exciting new one-make series that can truly help emerging drivers learn race craft in one of the most exciting and stylish cars on the track. The GT4 Challenge series has been going strong in the U.K. for five years with great success. We have brought that concept to North America and are delighted with the response. With a few spots available for the rest of the season, anyone interested in coming along for the thrilling ride should reach out quickly to us."

Comments from GT4 Challenge Series CEO, Kevin Buckler:

"We took a great deal of time to develop this new GT4 series and to bring the Aston Martin Racing North American program to the right audience. Now that we are off and running with the best Challenge Series schedule of any Marque in North America, we are receiving inquiries almost daily on our program. Racers from all marques and categories and Aston Martin aficionados alike, want time on some of the most iconic tracks with the new GT4, to see if they can take their driving to the next level and compete against like-skilled drivers in equal cars. Part of our popularity will also be the "fun factor" in running in our events and including fantastic lifestyle events throughout the schedule. We are here to race and we are here to have fun and our drivers and guests will love it. From spirited driving through the historic old town circuits, to a sunset schooner cruise and amazing food and wine events throughout. Our series will be the best in terms of quality track time and entertainment for our drivers. That's exactly what we have created in the GT4 Challenge Series and our race weekend event and amenities are conducive to the Aston Martin brand, experience and lifestyle."

Driver Development and Training at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y Director of Driver Development, Brandon Davis, and his team of instructors are on site this weekend to assist each driver in meeting their individual driving goals with the aid of post-race debriefs, data analysis, race craft development and much more. Driving coaches will help navigate the GT4 competitors through the nuances of the historic 3.4-mile long course of Watkins Glen International circuit.

Racers learn how to properly take the tricky braking/turning maneuver of Turn 1, known as "The Ninety"; the correct degree of acceleration to gain ground in "The Esses" (Turns 2-3-4); the fun and tricky gathering of corners known as "The Bus Stop" at 5a before entering "The Carousel" at Turn 5 with its late apex and nearly blind exit before arriving at "The Laces of the Boot" (Turn 6) where drivers can use the inside curb to create a little car rotation, especially if experiencing understeer; then the famous "Toe of the Boot" at Turn 7, the lowest point of the WGI track, and it's challenging concrete patch, especially during rainy conditions; the importance of braking efficiency for the downhill of Turn 8's "The Heel of the Boot", which transitions into the steep uphill grade of Turn 9, the fun, fast Turn 10 to how crucial exit speed is at the final Turn 11 before the long straightaway across start/finish.

Live Timing and Race Information

View live timing and compare driver stats during qualifying sessions and both races this weekend. Race Monitor brings the event straight to your computer, tablet or smartphone with great detail and upgrade options. Live timing can be viewed by going to http://narraonline.com/live-timing.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. - Practice

1:00 p.m. - 1:25 p.m. - Qualifying 1

4:15 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. - Race 1 Sunday, May 18, 2014

8:55 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - Practice

1:00 p.m. - 1:25 p.m. - Qualifying 2

3:55 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Race 2

Did You Know...

Watkins Glen International is one of the few that can truly make claim as a "Grand Prix" circuit. While many race courses and events often bill themselves as such, The Glen hosted the United States Grand Prix for 20 consecutive years from 1961 - 1980. For the majority of that time span, The Glen was the only United States stop on the international Formula 1 "Grand Prix" circuit that remains today generally regarded as the top-tier of automobile racing in the world.

The Aston Martin GT4 is winning races worldwide and in 2013 claimed overall pole positions, race wins, podiums and fastest laps in Bathurst 12 Hour, European GT4, British GT, VLN, Continental Tyre Challenge, Swedish GT, GT4 Challenge of Great Britain, Malaysian Super Series, Belgian GT and SCCA.

May 16 -18 Watkins Glen International June 6 - 8 Virginia International Raceway July 25 - 27 Circuit Mont-Tremblant Aug. 29 - 31 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Sept. 12 - 14 Monticello Motor Club Oct. 10 - 12 Road America Nov. 21 - 23 Sebring International Raceway

The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America is a seven-event, multi-round series that competes on some of the finest road courses in North America and is filled with the prestigious, world-renowned spirit of the Aston Martin brand. The series, owned and operated by TRG-AMR North America, starts May 16-18 at Watkins Glen International and ends Nov. 21-23 at Sebring International Raceway.

Aspiring competitors will drive the evocative Aston Martin GT4 Vantage cars they have acquired, with order options available from TRG-AMR for interested drivers who do not own a GT4. Comprehensive leasing and testing arrangements on a race-by-race or seasonal basis also are available through TRG-AMR or one of its authorized partners or Aston Martin dealers around the United States and Canada.

Royal Purple is the world's leading lubricant company: The Performance Oil That Outperforms. Its product portfolio includes a complete line of premium synthetic lubricants and performance chemicals for automotive, commercial trucking and industrial applications.

With its proprietary Synerlec® technology serving as the cornerstone for most of the company's products, Royal Purple lubricants excel in head-to-head performance tests by outperforming the competition. For additional information about Royal Purple, visit www.royalpurple.com or call toll-free 888-382-6300. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

TRG-AMR North America, LLC is a full-service motorsports company focused on winning competition at every level, with one of the most successful track records of any North American racing operation. TRG-AMR exclusively operates the Aston Martin sports car racing program in North America.

In 2014, TRG-AMR fields two V12 Vantage GT3 cars in the GT Daytona class of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, multiple Vantage GT4 cars in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and four entries in the Pirelli World Challenge. This year, TRG-AMR is also launching a one-make series, the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America, and services multiple customer racing programs through its total driver ladder approach.

TRG-AMR, based in Petaluma, Calif., has competed in the top levels of motor racing since it was founded in 1993. The team has earned four series championships, four Rolex 24 At Daytona victories, a victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a victory at Petit Le Mans and entered 2014 with 122 combined podium finishes in major North American sports car competition, the third-highest total in history and the most for a privateer team.

The company also offers comprehensive sponsorship and business opportunities, including traditional sponsorship, executive events, business-to-business and experiential marketing. These programs can be activated from events ranging from track days through professional motorsports.

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