Flying Lizard is returning to GT4 in SRO GT America this year with something a bit different than their past preferred chassis: the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage GT4. 2019 rookie Michael Dinan and his teammate Robby Foley will be at the helm of the mighty Aston coupes this year. This is not the first time FL has gone with a UK-sourced platform: in 2018 they campaigned a McLaren 650S GT3 at Pikes Peak, and have run a few Bentleys in the past (though, since Bentley is an arm of Volkswagen Auto Group, they're a bit more Teutonic than tea-and-crumpet). The NorCal team is most known for their success running Audis and Porsches in previous years.
Powered by a 4.0-lter twin-turbo V-8, officials will no doubt BOP the dickens out of the Astons, though teams will surely find a way to keep them plenty competitive. The chassis has already received a ton of praise for its handling and intuitive lightweight structure in the street version, which must translate to the track.
Check out the full press release from gt4-america.com below:
SONOMA, Calif. – Sports car racing champions Flying Lizard Motorsports will return to compete in the SRO-sanctioned GT4 America championship for 2020, making a splash with the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4. The team will again compete in both the Sprint and SprintX championships with returning American drivers Michael Dinan (Sprint, SprintX), and Robby Foley (SprintX).
Though Flying Lizard’s first ten years in the sport campaigned only Porsche efforts, but in the last five years, the team’s operations have expanded on a massive scale to also include several racing and testing efforts with various manufacturers including Audi, McLaren, Lamborghini and Bentley. The expansion over the last five years has allowed the team to showcase their level of technical expertise and capabilities of creating race winning efforts and high quality testing programs on various platforms. Unveiled in the summer of 2018, the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 will be the newest manufacturer to add to the team’s race program roster.
“We are so excited for what 2020 has in store,” said Program Manager and Team Principal Darren Law. “We have been reviewing the different platforms for the GT4 class and having spoken to the manufacturers as well as doing our analysis of each of the cars, the Aston Martin always came to the top of our list. It’s a new car that has a proper engine and transmission package and we feel it will be a very competitive car.”
The power of the four liter, V8 Twin Turbo engine will be subject to regulation by the Balance of Performance, a system used in sports car racing to make the field as equal as possible on the various circuits the drivers will compete on for the 2020 race season. The lightweight aluminum chassis of the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 is based on the production car, housing a 4-liter, V8 twin turbo.
Dinan, the primary driver for the Lizard GT4 program made his rookie debut in GT4 America in 2019, and proved to be a quick study, earning three podiums and ten top-five finishes with driver coach and co-driver Robby Foley.
“Last year, Michael showed a lot of potential and speed,” said Law. “Now that he has a full season under his belt, he will have a better understanding and more knowledge of what it takes to compete for a championship. Robby does a tremendous job both behind the wheel and in working with Michael. He’s a great asset to this program.”
Continuing its tour of the most iconic race circuits and temporary street courses North America has to offer, the 2020 season will see Flying Lizard Motorsports return to most of the same tracks as the 2019 season, with the addition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October. Opting to miss the two street courses on the calendar, Dinan’s season will consist of seven Sprint double headers, and seven SprintX double headers with co-driver Robby Foley.
“I’m ready and excited to take on my second season in SRO GT4 America with Flying Lizard Motorsports,” said Dinan. “I've learned plenty of valuable lessons in my first full season of racing that I'll be looking to improve on in 2020. The new car is exciting, so hopefully we can compete for wins and podiums right away.”
“I’m excited to be back with Flying Lizard Motorports and Michael for the 2020 season,” said Foley. “We had some ups and downs so we'll be looking to improve on what we learned and attack the 2020 championship in our new Aston Martin GT4's. It's an exciting opportunity to campaign these new cars. They've been successful world-wide so far, so let’s hope we can add some wins and podiums to our trophy case.”
The 2020 GT4 America season will begin at Circuit of the Americas, March 6-8, with both the Sprint and SprintX championships. Dinan will compete in four races that weekend, two with co-driver Robby Foley. For full event and series information, visit gt4-america.com.
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