Aston Martin: Nürburgring 9 Hour Update

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Aston Martin’s trio of entries in the 39th running of the ADAC Nürburgring 24 Hour race continue to progress to plan as darkness engulfs the Eifel region. V12 Zagato #5 (green) has taken 1st place in SP8 – an impressive 21st overall in a 200-plus field - with V12 Zagato #3 (red) in 4th, while V8 Vantage N24 #6 holds 3rd in SP10GT4.

Aston Martin’s privateer entries are also running smoothly; Mathol Racing occupy 1st and Team Pflanz 8th in SP10 with Team Bratke 6th in SP8.

As Saturday drew to a close, driving duties returned to those who piloted the opening stints across Aston Martin’s three Nürburgring entries. Richard Meaden took over from Chris Porritt in V12 Zagato #5 (‘Zig’), Wolfgang Schuhbauer replaced Matthew Marsh in V12 Zagato #3 (‘Zag’) and Darren Turner returned to the cockpit of V8 Vantage N24 #6.

Chris Porritt, who finished his second stint of the race in V12 Zagato #5 shortly before midnight said: “It’s odd to think that when I get back into the car it will still be dark! This is a magical place to be at night – campfires and fireworks are all around the track now and in darkness is easier to see where you are going; it focuses your vision.

“During the night it is as important as ever that we conserve fuel so I tend to brake a little earlier into the corners and managed to get nine laps from a tank.”

Darren Turner who had just climbed out of V8 Vantage (‘Smurf’), having completed his second stint said: “It took me a little while to get used to the dark as I only had a couple of night laps during qualifying. It is quite a hard place to find your reference points in the dark here, but I was getting quicker.

“There were a lot of accidents that needed negotiating during my stint – it’s quite eventful out there, but I’m really enjoying my first Nürburgring 24 hour experience; the car has been perfect.”

In sweltering heat in Nevada at the Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch a production standard four-door Aston Martin Rapide continues to accumulate laps in a 24-hour test run in conjunction with Road & Track magazine. The car – also raising money for charities providing aid to victims of the recent earthquakes in Japan – is approaching the 200-lap mark.

Nürburgring positions at nine hours:

#3 V12 Zagato (red) SP8 4th
#5 V12 Zagato (green) SP8 1st
#6 V8 Vantage N24 SP10 GT 3rd
#62 V8 Vantage GT4 SP10 GT 1st
#75 V8 Vantage N24 SP10 GT 8th
#85 V8 Vantage GT4 SP8 6th
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