Nurburgring 24 Hours winner Nicki Thiim will replace the late Allan Simonsen in the Danish-crewed factory Aston Martin Vantage GTE at the Interlagos round of the World Endurance Championship next month.
The son of former DTM racer Kurt Thiim succeeds Simonsen, who lost his life during the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, as the lead driver in the No. 95 GTE Am class Aston alongside Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen.
Thiim, who triumphed at the ‘Ring in May with the Black Falcon Mercedes squad and is also a race winner in the Porsche Supercup this year, is confirmed for Interlagos on September 1 and is expected to complete the season in the car.
AMR team principal John Gaw said: “The plan is that Nicki will be in the car for the remainder of the season, but we want to see how he goes at Interlagos first. He tested at Snetterton three weeks ago and did a very good job.”
Thiim drove for Poulsen’s eponymous team over the second half of the 2007 Danish Touring Car Championship.
The additional GTE Pro class Vantage GTE that joined the four regular AMR WEC entries at the Spa and Le Mans rounds will also race at Interlagos and then the Circuit of The Americas round on Sept. 22.
Lotus-contracted Richie Stanaway, who raced the car at Spa, will rejoin Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana at Interlagos. The lineup is expected to be unchanged for Austin.
The extra car could contest the final three WEC rounds at the Fuji, Shanghai and Bahrain circuits or remain in the US after Austin ahead of a potential Aston Martin assault on next January’s Daytona 24 Hours, the first round of the new United SportsCar Racing series.
“We have a desire to do Daytona,” explained Gaw, “so one option is to leave the car in the US after Texas to do some testing in preparation for that.”
Bruno Senna will be joined by Rob Bell at Interlagos in place of Frederic Makowiecki, who has a clashing testing commitment with the Dome Honda Super GT team in Japan. The Frenchman will return to the line-up at Austin, said Gaw.
Roald Goethe has dropped out of the team’s second GTE Am entry at Interlagos due to business commitments. He will not be replaced alongside Jamie Campbell-Walter and Stuart Hall.
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The Danish motorsport federation has established the ‘Allan Simonsen Memorial Foundation’ to raise money for his fiance Carina Lundbye Hansen and daughter Mie-Mai. Any amount can be transferred to Jyske Bank A/S, account 5078 1117416. IBAN number: DK 1350780001117416. Swift (BIC-adress) JYBADKKK.