Jonathan Venter to Race at the 24 Hours of Spa
International GT driver, Jonathan Venter, has landed a drive with the Oman Racing Team to compete in the historic Total 24 Hours of Spa this weekend. The rising motorsport star will be driving the #44 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in the Pro-am class. Venter will be taking on more than 40 top international GT teams when he tackles the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for the grueling 24 hour race that begins on Saturday.
This is another incredible opportunity for the Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver who has been having a stellar season in Asia’s top GT competition, the GT Asia Series. Fresh off a podium finish in Fuji, Venter will be looking to expand his international credentials with a top result from the historic Belgian race. The 24 hour event has long been on Venter’s wish list and he is ecstatic that he will be finally getting the chance to tackle the legendary endurance race.
“I am incredibly excited and honoured to be driving in the Motorbase Aston Martin at the 24 hours of Spa. It has been an ambition of mine to race at Spa and to be given this opportunity with the Oman Racing Team is amazing.” said the rising star.
The Oman Racing Team is run by Kent-based squad, Motorbase Performance who currently compete in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Venter will be joining their regular trio of drivers that include, Aston Martin Works driver, Jonny Adam (Scotland), fellow Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver, Daniel Lloyd (England) and Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman).
David Bartrum, Team Principal of Oman Racing had this to say, “The big decision for us this year was to move into the Pro-Am class so we needed to add a driver with the right ingredients to complete our line-up. To make sure that the balance is right, it’s essential not only to get the grading right but also to find a driver that fits well within the team, has the character we need, offers the turn of speed required and is also able to use the product - and in Jonathan we have the ideal man. A young, dynamic driver that fits perfectly in the Oman Racing Team line-up and I’m really, really excited about Spa now.”
Venter is no stranger to Aston Martin; he is currently one of only ten young drivers worldwide to be inducted into their Evolution Academy which will award the most successful participant a full works contract with Aston Martin Racing. Currently driving for Craft-Bamboo Racing, his quick pace, consistent and confident driving style have helped him take the joint lead in the drivers’ championship. The 19 year old driver has only just completed a successful race weekend in Fuji, Japan and has travelled directly to Europe to be a part of the young driver lineup for Oman Racing, with the hope of learning the track before the race start on Saturday.
“Having just raced at Fuji in the GT Asia series with a fantastic result, I am going into the week with loads of confidence. Testing will be really important for me to learn the track as I have never been there before but I know the Aston Martin GT3 very well so I have one less obstacle to face.” said Jonathan.
This will be Oman Racing’s second year in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, but due to a mid-race accident last year that was caused by another competitor; the team was forced to retire prematurely in P17. Returning this year with a new driver lineup, Venter brings both speed and consistency in the Aston Martin and is hungry to build on his burgeoning endurance career. The young driver understands that he will be facing some tough competition during the 24 hour race but is focused on learning all he can.
Jonathan added, “As in previous years, the 24 hours of Spa has made for some very interesting racing with a track full of GT3 cars, changing conditions and of course racing for 24 hours! This will be one of the biggest challenges of my career and I am really looking forward to gaining as much experience and knowledge as possible. ”
Free Practice for the Total 24 Hours of Spa will begin at 12:00pm (local time GMT+2), Thursday 23rd of July. Later that day, pre-qualifying is scheduled for 18:10, qualifying 1 at 20:30 and night qualifying at 22:15. Super pole will be set for 15:30 on Friday 24th of July and the main race will begin on Saturday, 25th of July 16:30 (GMT +2).