Aston Martins dominate class at Nurburgring
Aston Martin is preparing for a double 24 hour challenge in June. Not only are six Aston Martin Racing DBR9s competing at Le Mans on 16th and 17th June, but a week earlier four Aston Martins will enter a lesser known but just as grueling race -- the 24 hours of Nurburgring on 9th and 10th June.
In an ideal warm up, Aston Martin took the first four places in class in a 4-hour VLN series race on the classic Nordschleife circuit on Saturday 26th May. The highlight was an impressive 2nd overall and 1st in class finish for the Aston Martin Austria/Phoenix Racing DBRS9 driven by Robert Lechner and Marcel Fassler. Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24s filled the next three places in class. The best of these almost standard cars was driven by ex-Porsche Supercup race winner Oliver Mathai, occasional GT1 racer Stephan Lemeret, and journalist Richard Meaden finishing in 28th place in a field of 200 starters. This new driver line up was closely followed by Aston Martin's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez, partnered as usual by Chris Porritt and Wolfgang Schuhbauer. Fourth in class was the Belgian Herreman team. The Vantage N24s outlasted the more highly modified race cars in the over-4 litre class.
Commenting on the result, Head of Motorsport, David King said: "The DBRS9 has never raced on the Nordschleife until this year. It is a great endorsement of the capabilities of the car and the Phoenix team that the DBRS9 is so competitive against cars that have been developed and raced here for years. As for the Vantage N24; last year we demonstrated that it could regularly finish 24 hour races. Earlier this month we showed it could sprint too, winning the inaugural FIA GT4 race at Silverstone. Now we're coming back to the Nurburgring, this time to demonstrate the performance and reliability of our new Sportshift transmission."
Dr Bez, who drove a strong middle stint in Saturday's race, commented on the Sportshift: "It was great to get back behind the wheel after a long break. The paddle shift will be an even greater benefit in this endurance race."
Aston Martin also confirmed their two car Vantage N24 entry and driver line up for the 24 hour race. Bez, Porritt and Schuhbauer will be joined as last year by Editor-in-Chief of Sport Auto magazine, Horst von Saurma. Nordschleife expert Ulrich Schodel will join Mathai, Lemeret and Meaden in the second Vantage N24.
Phoenix Racing will add Klaus Ludwig and Sascha Bert to Saturday's DBRS9 pairing of Lechner and Fassler forming a strong driver line up for the 24 hour race.