Sprint Cup champion Drudi joins expanded Aston Martin factory line-up for 2024

Sprint Cup champion Drudi joins expanded Aston Martin factory line-up for 2024

Mattia Drudi will become an Aston Martin works driver in 2024, joining a bolstered line-up that also includes Henrique Chaves.

The Fanatec GT Europe regulars have committed to Aston ahead of the British brand's fresh assault on GT3 racing, which will see a new version of its successful Vantage model hit the track in 2024.  

In addition to the newcomers, established factory representatives Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen, Ross Gunn, Jonny Adam, Valentin Hasse Clot and Darren Turner have all been retained, the latter securing a 20th season with Aston. David Pittard, meanwhile, has been promoted to full factory status. 

Drudi joins the programme following five seasons as a works Audi driver, a stint that culminated in him clinching the 2023 Fanatec GT Europe Sprint Cup championship alongside Ricardo Feller. The 25-year-old from Rimini confirmed his departure from the Ingolstadt marque earlier this month. 

“I’m honoured to be joining Aston Martin as a works driver,” said Drudi. “I’m really looking forward to being part of such an iconic manufacturer programme in motorsport. I feel this is the right environment for me to develop as a driver and to fight together for prestigious victories in the most important races around the world.”

While Drudi has not previously raced an Aston, fellow newcomer Henrique Chaves is no stranger to the brand having driven a Vantage to GTE Am class honours at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2022. His Fanatec GT Europe résumé includes class wins and titles with Barwell Motorsport and Garage 59, driving Lamborghini and McLaren machinery alongside fellow countryman Miguel Ramos.

Specific programmes are yet to be defined, though there are certain to be opportunities for Aston's factory line-up to compete in Fanatec GT Europe. Indeed, Comtoyou Racing and Walkenhorst Motorsport have already committed to running the new Vantage, with both squads set to field Pro entries. 

Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance, said: “As we prepare to embark on a new era for Aston Martin in endurance racing, with the advent of newly-developed evolutions of our Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and GT4 platforms, and of course the Valkyrie Hypercar programme that becomes a racing entity in 2025, we’ve assembled an ultra-competitive works driver line-up. 

"This group of drivers knows how to win and is expert at extracting every ounce of performance from a GT car, while at the same time harnessing the endurance capabilities necessary to win at this level. We’re delighted to welcome three proven champions in Mattia, Henrique and David to this group, and we’re excited to see what they can all achieve in 2024 and beyond."

Aston Martin's last Pro class win in the Fanatec GT Europe Endurance Cup came at Silverstone in 2018, while its latest Sprint Cup triumph was secured the following season at the Nürburgring. More recently, the brand clinched a fine third place finish at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa in a car run by Garage 59 and featuring Thiim, Sørensen and Gunn behind the wheel.