Aston Martin: Nürburgring 24 Hours - 16 Hour Report

Sunday, May 20, 2012

With the sun having risen back over Germany’s Eifel region, Aston Martin’s four official entries have battled their way up the overall standings after 16 hours. Light rain arrived once the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours had moved into its second half, and the pair of V12 Vantage GT3s climbed to within reach of the class SP9 top-20.

With eight hours to run, the #007 car holds 21st position in the category having logged 84 laps of the 25-kilometre circuit with the #006 V12 Vantage GT3 a few laps behind in 23rd. Leading Aston Martin’s charge is the metronomically consistent #005 V12 Vantage, which itself is knocking on the door of an impressive result as it lies 32nd in the overall standings. The #85 Vantage GT4 – run alongside the V12 Zagato by Aston Martin’s engineering department – has also run faultlessly for 16 hours and now lies third in class SP8, one position behind its stablemate.

The rain increased in intensity as the 15th hour passed, forcing all teams to switch to wet-weather rubber.
Aston Martin factory driver Stefan Mücke (D), one-quarter of the #006 V12 Vantage GT3’s crew this weekend, described his night-time stints at the wheel: “There have been so many things going on out on the circuit, like repairs to the barriers, so in places we have to slow down. The car was running really well and the balance was good.

“I drove one stint in the middle of the night and another as the sun was coming up. That was really good because it felt like we had completed another step of the race, but there is still a long way to go!”

Erstwhile SP10 class leaders Team Mathol Racing slipped down the order following an accident, the team’s Vantage GT4 requiring some bodywork attention before it could rejoin. It continues in fourth position, still in the fight for a class podium, with customer Vantage GT4s also in sixth and eighth.

David King, Head of Motorsport at Aston Martin, said: “Our four official cars survived the night without any dramas, but in the best traditions of the Nürburgring we’ve now got a new challenge to contend with; the rain. The drivers know that they just need to take it steady during this period of the race. Although there are still eight hours to run, it now feels as though the end is in sight.

“We’ll continue to push for two top-20 finishes in the SP9 class, while the V12 Zagato has a fair chance of finishing in the top 30 overall, which would be a brilliant result given that it’s so closely related to a standard road-going car. It’s a shame to see the Team Mathol Racing car dropping out of the SP10 class lead, but as expected it is absolutely flying in the wet conditions and has every chance of regaining the lead.”

Aston Martin
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