Aston Martin: Into the Night at the Nürburgring 24-hour - Twelve Hour Update

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Aston Martin’s factory and customer entries continue through the night. A near production standard version of the V12 Vantage and the four-door Rapide lie first and third in the SP8 class at the halfway point in the Nürburgring 24-hour race. The six other customer Aston Martins remain in contention at various points throughout the field, with Mathol Racing leading the SP10 GT4 class.

The V12 Vantage remains on the verge of a place inside the top 20 overall, currently in 23rd position in the total standing. Meanwhile the Rapide is closing on an impressive top 40 position currently 44th in the remaining field of more than 180 cars.

In the second six hours of the race Peter Cate coolly guided the number six V12 Vantage steadily up the race order - a trend replicated by his successor Oliver Mathai who took over as darkness engulfed the Eifel. Richard Meaden then took to the wheel at around midnight for his second stint and ended with the V12 Vantage having moved from the top 30 to the top 20 overall.

In the Rapide, after Matthew Marsh had completed his opening stint he handed driver duties to Wolfgang Schuhbauer as the Rapide began to take advantage of a steady rate of attrition in this most gruelling of endurance races. As the race reached the halfway mark Chris Porritt was set to undertake the second half of his driver duties by taking over, having earlier driven the V12 Vantage for the opening stint.

After finishing his first drive in the Rapide Chris Porritt – an engineering manager at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters – said: “I really enjoyed my last stint in Rapide; the car is easy to drive and I had fun. The traffic is still a bit difficult at times and there have been a few accidents around the circuit in the dark but nothing so far that has caused us a problem.”

Emerging from the V12 Vantage at around 2am on Sunday morning Richard Meaden said: “It is as chaotic now as it was in the first few hours of the race. There are cars going off the track, having blow-outs and making contact with each other. It is sometimes very difficult to negotiate through the slow traffic. The car however, is running superbly.”
Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport and Team Manager for the factory effort at the Nürburgring, David King said: “The team are doing a great job and it’s encouraging to see our two cars doing so well in class but also in the overall standing. We’re also pleased to see our customers having a good run, in particular Mathol Racing who lead their class, with a number of the other teams enjoying a fine run.

“Just past the halfway mark we brought Kermit in for a slightly extended pit stop for a precautionary check but I’m pleased to report the car has rejoined the race without any problems.

“Our focus now is to maintain our steady progress and we’ll see how the race develops throughout the night.”

Aston Martin Race Positions at Twelve Hours:
No. Team Class Car Class Position Overall Position
6 Aston Martin SP8 V12 Vantage 1st 23rd
7 Aston Martin SP8 Rapide 3rd 44th
59 Gentle Swiss Racing SP10 GT4 V8 Vantage N24 5th 70th
60 Mathol Racing SP10 GT4 V8 Vantage 4th 55th
61 Mathol Racing SP10 GT4 V8 Vantage 1st 32nd
66 Privateer Entry SP8 V8 Vantage 11th 169th
67 Birchwood Racing SP10 GT4 V8 Vantage N24 8th 154th
74 Gentle Swiss Racing SP8 V8 Vantage N24 7th 93rd
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