Aston Martin and its official motorsport division Aston Martin Racing are set to contest the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24-hours this weekend (28-29 May). Aston Martin Racing will travel to Germany’s Eifel region with a pair of V12 Vantage GT3s, with their sights set firmly on the outright win which has so far eluded them despite strong performances in the past three years.
With a circuit length of 16.123 miles, 170 turns, unpredictable weather and strong competition from a field of nearly 200 starters, only a perfect run will secure victory.
Having competed at the Nordschleife earlier this year, achieving 4th and 8th place in the circuit’s VLN 2 race at the end of April, the team is confident of the potential of this year’s V12 Vantage GT3.
The #007 entry piloted by Darren Turner (GB), Nicki Thiim (DN), Marco Sørensen (DN) and Pedro Lamy (P) will feature the livery of new partner IQ Option. The #27 car will carry an Aston Martin Vantage GT8 inspired livery and will be crewed by Richie Stanaway (NZ), Mathias Lauda (A), Jonny Adam (GB) and Fernando Rees (BR).
Dan Sayers, Aston Martin Racing Technical Director said, “The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a race that should never be underestimated. The Nordschleife is one of the most demanding circuits for our drivers and cars, but we’re confident we have a great package to go out and challenge for the race win. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Alongside its dedicated motorsport outfit, Aston Martin will maintain its long held tradition of subjecting its product to the ultimate engineering sign-off, as it enters a single race-prepared Vantage GT8 in the event’s close-to-production SP8 class.
Launched at the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, the Vantage GT8 is the latest limited edition sports car to be produced by the company’s in-house Special Operations department and is strictly limited to a production run of 150 units worldwide. Inspired by the V8 Vantage GTE cars that compete in the WEC endurance series globally, the Nürburgring 24 hours will give the Vantage GT8 its first taste of competition.
The Vantage GT8 will also debut Castrol’s revolutionary NEXCEL system. The NEXCEL system is a sealed oil cell, which contains both the engine oil and an oil filter, which can easily be removed and replaced by hand.
Taking just 90 seconds to replace the cell, the process is similar to replacing a printer cartridge. The sealed unit ensures that used oil is collected safely and refined. Designed with the mass market in mind, its use on Vantage GT8 will subject it to the harshest of testing conditions while even allowing a mid-race oil change in less time than it takes to refuel.
The #42 Vantage GT8 will be driven by Nürburgring ace Andy Gülden, Aston Martin N24 regular Peter Cate and Dr. Florian Kamelger. As allowed by Nürburgring 24 Hour regulations, Darren Turner will also join the trio for a stint in the Vantage GT8, as he continues his involvement with Aston Martin’s road car development, which has most recently included the track-only Aston Martin Vulcan supercar.
David King, Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer, said, “The Nürburgring is a track where we conduct a large quantity of our testing throughout the year and to be able to prove the racing credentials of our sports cars is a hugely rewarding and important exercise. After showing strong pace last year with our Vantage GT12 racer, I’m confident that this year’s Vantage GT8 has the potential to have a very successful weekend.”
Alongside Aston Martin’s factory entries, former Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez will once again take on the Nordschleife, racing the #65 V12 Vantage prepared by Aston Martin’s Nürburgring Technical Centre in the SP8 class, and partnered by Technical Centre Director Wolfgang Schuhbauer and Heinz-Jürgen Kroner. In total, seven Aston Martin Vantages will enter the Nürburgring 24 Hours including the highly competitive entry of Mathol Racing – perennial challengers in the SP10 class for GT4 cars.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours begins at 15:30 CET on Saturday 28 May.
For up-to-date information on the team’s progress, follow the official team Twitter account: @AMR_Official.
Nürburgring 24 Hours driver lineup
#007 – V12 Vantage GT3 – Darren Turner (GB), Marco Sorensen (DN), Nicki Thiim (DN), Pedro Lamy (P)
#027 – V12 Vantage GT3 – Jonny Adam (GB), Fernando Rees (BR), Mathias Lauda (A), Richie Stanaway (NZ)
#042 – Vantage GT8 – Peter Cate (GB), Dr. Florian Kamelger (I), Darren Turner (GB), Andreas Gülden (D)
#065 – V8 Vantage – Heinz-Jürgen Kroner (D), Wolfgang Schubauer (D), Dr. Ulrich Bez (D)