The team led by Philippe Gautheron and Julien Gerbi will enter its all-new GT4 machinery in the inaugural season of the Race Ready-organized championship. C. O. Jones and Freddie Hunt, son of James Hunt - the F1 World Champion in 1976-, will share one of the Aston Martin cars.
The GT4 South European Series will see two brand-new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 cars on the starting grid as Team Virage has acquired two units for 2019. The Spain-based team will enter their cars in the series organized by Race Ready in cooperation with SRO Motorsport Group. Thus Team Virage moves into the GT4 arena, which is in full expansion.
Team Virage, then-known as G-TEC Sport, started its racing activities in 1998 contesting, among others, the Open Telefónica by Nissan. Later, Virage Academy was established as a training programme for young drivers including physical, mental and technical preparation and well-known drivers such as Sergio Pérez, Vitaly Petrov, Giedo van der Garde or Rio Haryanto joined during that period.
The Spanish team plans to enter its two Aston Martin-built cars in the GT4 South European Series. The first Aston Martin will have a Am class Bronze-rated pairing consisting of C. O. Jones and Freddie Hunt – son of James Hunt, who took the Formula 1 crown in 1976–. A Silver graded driver and a Bronze driver will share the second Vantage racing under the Team Virage banner in the Pro-Am class.
John Gaw, Managing Director Aston Martin Racing, said: “we are delighted to welcome Team Virage into the Aston Martin Racing customer team network. This new partnership will greatly increase our presence in Southern Europe which we see as an important market, and is a further validation of the interest we've had shown in the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Moreover, it is great to be able to collaborate with a team that has such a rich heritage of junior driver development; which is of course a key point of focus for the Vantage GT4.”
Team Virage’s Philippe Gautheron added: “GT Racing is very important and we want to be present there. We believe that the GT4 is a fantastic concept, especially the Aston Martin Vantage and will do our very best to succeed from the 1st event on, building on our previous experience. I am very happy to have C.O. and Freddie on board, they are a very strong pair of Bronze drivers with whom I am sure we will gather results and have a very good time!”
Julien Gerbi, Team Manager of Team Virage, explained: “this program with Aston Martin in GT4 is a new adventure for Virage and all the members of our team are really excited to start working with these amazing cars. We have been working on this project for some months now, and we are really looking forward to be on the grid in Jarama.”
Commenting about the new entries, Diogo Ferrão, promoter and organiser of the GT4 South European Series, said: “I would like to very warmly welcome on board Team Virage. It is a pleasure to have such a young outfit in the GT4 South European Series but, at the same time, they have proved to be a top team in almost every championship they took part. Aston Martin is also an iconic brand in endurance racing and we feel excited to have its new Vantage cars on the starting grid.”
The series promoted by Race Ready in partnership with SRO Motorsports Group will kick off at Nogaro, in the Coupe de Pâques, at April 19th-22nd, and will visit four other circuits – at Circuito del Jarama, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve and Circuito do Estoril. In addition, a “Special Cup” will be held at the Vila Real street circuit.
The GT4 South European Series’ races will be TV broadcasted by Porto Canal (Portugal) and Teledeporte (Spain) and, additionally, on its Youtube Channel for the rest of the world.