Aston Martin: Nürburgring 24 Hours - Four Hour Report

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Aston Martin recovering from tough start to Nürburgring 24 Hours

Aston Martin’s four official entries continue to set competitive lap times at the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours after the opening four hours despite early delays for the pair of V12 Vantage GT3s. While the #007 car lost time with a punctured tyre and its #006 sister car suffered a clutch issue, the two SP8 category cars remain in contention for class podiums.

Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner (GB) suffered a right-rear tyre blow out mid-way around the 25km circuit on his fourth lap. Unable to return to the pits, the team’s technicians responded quickly by transporting a replacement wheel and tyre to Turner, who was able to recover to the pit lane as a result. The Briton handed over to team-mate Ferdinand Stuck (A) while the team refueled the V12 Vantage GT3, which returned to the fray having dropped 13 laps to its class SP9 rivals.

The #006 V12 Vantage GT3, meanwhile, also suffered its own misfortune on the fourth lap as driver Oliver Mathai (D) reported a minor problem with the clutch. The team recovered the car to the paddock, where the technicians swiftly coorected the issue before sending the V12 Vantage GT3 back out on the circuit with 15 laps lost to its rival and Stefan Mücke (D) at the helm.

The two SP8 class cars – entered by Aston Martin’s Nürburgring Test Centre team – continue to run to their individual plans, hitting their target lap times. Chris Porritt (GB) pitted the #005 V12 Zagato after eight laps to make way for Richard Meaden (GB), who continued to circulate with fresh tyres and a full tank of fuel. After a further eight laps, Meaden handed over to Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez who continues to run third in class.

The orange #85 Vantage GT4 is just a single position behind the V12 Zagato within the SP8 class having also enjoyed a positive start to the punishing 24-hour race.

Aston Martin is also being represented by its customer teams in the SP10 class for GT4 cars. Team Mathol Racing’s Vantage GT4 currently leads that category following a flawless start to the race, while the three remaining Vantage GT4s are sixth, 11th and 13th in class.

David King, Head of Motorsport at Aston Martin, said: “Our GT3 cars have had a tough start to the race, but we didn’t expect an easy ride here at the Nürburgring. The Young Driver AMR technicians worked quickly and effectively to get both cars back out onto the circuit and they are now lapping at a strong pace. Although the issues were costly, they were actually very minor, so we can still expect to run well for the remainder of the race. We must keep in mind that this is the first time Aston Martin has competed in the top class; we’re here to learn and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

“The #005 V12 Zagato and #85 Vantage GT4 have been running very well and both remain firmly in contention for SP8 class podiums. We also lead the SP10 class through our customer outfit, Team Mathol Racing, so Aston Martin is on course to achieve a handful of very positive results this weekend.”

Aston Martin
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