WEC, 6h of Spa: Dalla Lana leaves the category and The Heart of Racing takes over

RIO DE JANEIRO – Less than a week from the start of track activities for the 6h of Spa-Francorchamps, 3rd stage of the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship WEC in 2023, the folkloric mister driver Canadian Paul Dalla Lana announces his retirement from competition.

Champion of the LMGTE-AM division in 2017, Paul has contested no less than 69 races (out of a historic total of 80) in the modality since his debut in the category in 2013 – always with Aston Martin Racing. The most prominent bronze rider of recent years, he also scored 17 victories (fourth in number of victories in the category, behind Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Pedro Lamy) and 37 podiums. Among his partners he counted Brazilians – Augusto Farfus and Marcos Gomes – in addition to sharing the champion car six years ago with the Portuguese Lamy and the son of the triple world champion of F1 Niki Lauda, ​​Mathias Lauda.

Businessman, philanthropist and CEO of NorthWest, a firm specializing in the construction and maintenance of medical buildings in Canada and which has business in Oceania, Europe and Brazil, Paul Dalla Lana is married to a Brazilian, Alessandra . In 2008, when he was not yet well known in motorsport, he donated C$20 million to establish a School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He repeated the financial contribution a decade later, for the same amount.

In addition to his participation in the WEC, Dalla Lana competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Bathurst. Without forgetting the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which he has participated in 10 consecutive editions since 2013, having only been on the podium once, precisely during what will be his last participation, in the company of Nicki Thiim and David Pittard. , last year.

With no added points from the races at Sebring and Portimão this year, Paul has decided not to take part in the other races on the WEC calendar, which also affects the racing schedule of his contract partners – Axcil Jefferies and Nicki Thiim.

Also because the registration of NorthWest AMR remains, but the structure will be played by another team: passed above the entry list by the FIA ​​Endurance Committee, The Heart of Racing resumes the race of the # 98 and immediately announced a new trio for next Saturday’s race.

Driving the Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE-AM will be driver-owner Ian James, British, 48, Spaniard Alex Riberas Bou (29) and Italian Daniel Mancinelli, 34. season, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, since NorthWest AMR’s commitment cannot be changed – in the event of a complete withdrawal from the team, the vacancy that would be open would end up in the hands of Spirit of Race, the branch Switzerland from AF Corse. In addition to the debut of the trio, the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps this Saturday will also see the debut of the Porsche 963 of Hertz Team Jota, the return of Franck Mailleux to the Glickenhaus in place of Ryan Briscoe and Jack Aitken, the closing of the trio of Cadillac Racing’s n°3 participating in the preparation race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Megan Schneider

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