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Friday, June 21, 2024

D’station hopeful of securing WEC LMGT3 slot with Aston Martin

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D’station has been on the WEC grid within the GTE Am class since 2021, working an Aston Martin Vantage GTE in partnership with TF Sport.

Gentleman driver Satoshi Hoshino has shared driving duties with D’station workforce supervisor Tomonobu Fujii all through that interval, with the pair being joined by a revolving solid of silver-rated drivers.

To date they’ve scored two podium finishes, one at Monza in 2021 with Andrew Watson alongside Hoshino and Fujii, and the second on its dwelling turf at Fuji final yr with Charlie Fagg because the third driver.

With the WEC getting ready to axe GTE equipment in favour of a full swap to GT3 automobiles subsequent yr, Fujii is optimistic that the Japanese squad will be capable to stay a part of the sequence subsequent yr and past.

“We hope to remain on this championship, together with the Le Mans 24 Hours,” Fujii instructed Autosport. “That is our first precedence in the meanwhile.

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“We’re working laborious to remain right here and getting ready every part. If doable, 100% we are going to keep.”

Fujii careworn the workforce’s precedence is to proceed its current relationship with Aston Martin, which is regarded as prone to be granted entries for the LMGT3 period resulting from its long-standing involvement within the WEC’s GTE ranks.

The information that TF Sport will be switching to partner Corvette for next season additionally means one much less competitor for the 2 grid slots. 

 

“We’ve got been a superb companion with Aston Martin since 2019, we’re their largest workforce in Asia and Japan,” Fujii mentioned. “After all we don’t need to transfer producers. I need to decide to them.”

Outdoors of the WEC, D’station’s different programmes for this season are within the Japan Cup leg of GT World Problem Asia and Tremendous Taikyu, though resulting from schedule clashes it has withdrawn its Vantage GT3 from the highest ST-X class within the latter sequence, leaving simply its ST-1 class entry.

Fujii mentioned that he’s nonetheless investigating alternatives to return to SUPER GT, the place D’station final raced in 2020 in partnership with Pacific Racing.

“We at all times need to return to SUPER GT, and we regarded into it final yr and this yr,” mentioned Fujii. “However the issue is the entry rights.

“If we get the rights, we might enter SUPER GT with Aston Martin, because it’s our largest precedence in Japan. We’re at all times speaking to some groups [holding entry rights], ready for a possibility.

“We’d haven’t any drawback committing long-term to working one automotive in SUPER GT. We’ve got the workforce, we’ve got the automotive, we’ve got the producer companion. The prices are additionally no drawback.”

 

Fujii additionally divulged plans are afoot to determine one other workforce to take part in GT World Problem Asia subsequent yr, involving one of many shoppers for his newly-established ‘Simdrive’ simulator facility in Tokyo. 

“It would use D’station’s facility [near Fuji Speedway], however it will likely be a completely new programme with a gentleman driver,” he mentioned. “It is doable we are going to run a distinct automotive. I’m already getting ready for it.”

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