The Road to Le Mans – Tom Canning steps up to GT3 in 2020

April 15, 2020

British GT

YDRA superstar and 2019 Aston Martin Academy winner, Tom Canning is set to make the jump to GT3 with TF Sport in 2020.

After winning the GT4 class last season, Tom will step up to the GT3 class in this year’s British GT Championship and will race alongside Graham Davidson in the Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3.

Tom Canning: “2019 was a very successful season for me, winning the GT4 championship and taking the Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy award. I’m excited to step up into GT3, racing alongside Graham Davidson and after working with the team, I know that they are always hungry to win and will leave no stone unturned.”

The highly anticipated season looks set to be an action fueled year for Tom who will look to continue the success for TF Sport who were also crowned champions in GT3 last year. The British talent, who won the Silverstone 500 in 2019, aims to one day race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the infamous Aston Martin Racing Team and being selected Academy winner earlier this year shows the manufacturer are very confident in his abilities.

While the 2020 season of racing is delayed and yet to begin, it has been anything but quiet for Tom. After winning the 2019 Aston Martin Academy, Tom had the opportunity to drive the Aston Martin GTE car used by the official FIA WEC drivers around the incredible Bahrain International Circuit. A truly amazing opportunity for Tom to get behind the wheel of his dream car, and the one he aims to drive at Le Mans. Here is what he had to say about the experience:

Canning: “I had a brilliant experience in Bahrain with Aston Martin Racing for the official WEC Rookie test and I learnt so much about the car and what it takes to race at that world championship level, which is one of my career goals.
It was great to finally get behind the wheel of the Vantage GTE car, and to be able to do it at such a cool track after watching the WEC race there the day before was really special.”

The BRDC rising star had also been out putting in the laps in pre-season testing and is looking very strong for 2020. With the championship set in his sights and with a revised calendar to come, every point will count in Toms third year in the championship.

Tom has been keeping himself busy during lockdown, as a keen cyclist he has been getting many miles in ensuring he is fully prepared for the new and heightened physical demand of driving the GT3 machine.

Canning: “2019 was a very successful season for me, winning the GT4 championship and taking the Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy award. I’m excited to step up into GT3, racing alongside Graham Davidson and after working with the team, I know that they are always hungry to win and will leave a stone unturned. To race alongside Graham – we’re both reining British GT champions in our respective classes – is an exciting prospect too. I know there’s a lot for me to learn at this higher level, but I have confidence heading into round one and believe we’ll be fighting at the sharp end. I’m coming into my second season of the British GT Championship looking for wins and with the ultimate aim of being a championship contender throughout the season.”

Alike YRDA alumni Ross Gunn, who is an official Aston Martin Racing driver and former British GT driver, Canning’s future looks very bright and full of amazing opportunities and he strives to reach his goals. Tom has been on an almost identical journey to Ross with the latter winning the British GT4 title back in 2015 in an Aston Martin. Ross then went on to compete in the GT3 class in 2016 before making his debut at the 24 Hour of Le Mans with Aston Martin 2017.Two years later and Ross was officially introduced into the FIA WEC team in for the 2019-20 season to race with the official factory team alongside Darren Turner and Paul Dalla Lana in the LMGTE Am class.

Now Tom is hoping to follow in his footsteps. Back in 2014, when interviewed at a kart race Tom made it clear his goals were to race in Ginetta Junior, GT4, GT3 and then the FIA World Endurance Championship. It shows that if you put to your mind to something and work hard enough at it you can achieve anything in life. It is an inspiration to his fellow YRDA members currently learning their craft in Karting who look up the 18-year-old. Tom may not be at the top just yet, but at this stage you’d have to say it’d be hard to bet against him getting there.

So, the stage is set for a phenomenal year ahead in GT3 for Tom, and plenty of fresh silverware looks to be on the horizon as he embarks on the next chapter of his career on the road to Le Mans. The YRDA will be supporting Tom all the way and providing updates on his progress throughout the season on our website and social media channels.