There’s something special about seeing an almost stock Aston Martin V12 Vantage on the grid at one of the toughest 24-hour endurance races in the world.
On the eve of the 2010 Nurburgring 24-Hour race, you’ll see no less than eight Aston Martins on the starting grid, including a factory entered four-door Rapide, which will be piloted by none other than the CEO of Aston Martin, Dr Ulrich Bez.
An accomplished race driver himself, Dr Bez will share the driving duties with the company’s Nurburgring Test Centre Director; Wolfgang Schuhbauer and engineer manager, Chris Porritt.
The big difference between Aston Martin and other teams is that these factory cars are not homologated for series racing, but rather, are as close to the production cars on the showroom floor as is possible.
It’s a big call to race here at Nurburgring in what are virtually production spec cars against purpose built endurance racers.
But that doesn’t worry Aston Martin in the slightest. In last year’s race, they won class in both the V12 Vantage and the V8 Vantage in what was a magnificent result and a true testament to the reliability of the marque.
Aston Martin only launched their four-door sports car, the Rapide in February and already, it’s on the grid here at Nurburgring.
The Rapide race car while being close to production standard has been modified with FIA safety modifications, which include the removal of interior trim to reduce weight and re-tuned suspension. Tyres will of course be race spec, for dry or wet conditions.
The class winning V12 Vantage is also based on the road going version, which CarAdvice track tested only last week, adds a number of new aero dynamic modifications to last year’s car, which crossed the finish line ahead of a host of specialist race cars in the SP8 class.
These enhancements have been designed to provide greater downforce for the V12 Vantage, through the seventy-plus corners that drivers have to contend with at the ‘Ring’.
Good luck to all Aston Martin teams, factory and private.