Nurburgring 24H: Aston Martin qualifying report

Record Aston Martin Entry at Nurburgring 24-Hour Race Nurburgring, 14 May 2010 -- A record entry of eight Aston Martins will join a grid of almost 200 cars in the 38th running of the ADAC 24-hour endurance race at the Nurburgring in Germany ...

Record Aston Martin Entry at Nurburgring 24-Hour Race

Nurburgring, 14 May 2010 -- A record entry of eight Aston Martins will join a grid of almost 200 cars in the 38th running of the ADAC 24-hour endurance race at the Nurburgring in Germany tomorrow after all cars safely negotiated two qualifying sessions both fraught with difficult weather conditions.

Aston Martin's dual factory entry of a near production standard Rapide and V12 Vantage will start from 37th and 79th respectively (3rd and 8th in class). These two cars are joined by a host of other customer entries including those from Birchwood Racing, Gentle Swiss Racing and Mathol Racing bringing the total Aston Martin representation to a record eight cars.

After being dry for the majority of the day, the opening qualifying session on Thursday evening was compromised by changeable weather which included extremely cool temperatures and fog. Accordingly in keeping with the vast majority of the field, the Aston Martin team concentrated efforts on completing the mandatory two qualifying laps for each driver in both Rapide and V12 Vantage before the session was red flagged an hour ahead of schedule due to dense fog.

Friday afternoon's session also suffered for the most part due to a damp track with most teams avoiding the unnecessary risk of posting more laps on the eve of the race. Aston Martin's Rapide and V12 Vantage ran for minimal laps to complete final setup and driver familiarisation, although Oliver Mathai was able to post an impressive 9m11.909s lap in the production car-based V12 Vantage to land 37th place on a grid of mostly motorsport homologated cars.

Aston Martin's Head of Motorsport, David King said: "The main objective for qualifying was simply to get each driver through the required two laps. The conditions were fairly restrictive so there was not a great deal we could gain by taking unnecessary risks.

"Grid positions are not overly important in a 24-hour race although Oliver managed to get a clear run in the V12 Vantage and should be very pleased with his time. Both cars are in good shape and we are looking forward to the race.

"We are also delighted to see such a strong customer presence in the race this year -- we have come a long way since 2006 when we came here with just one entry. We hope all our customer teams finish the race and hopefully have some fun along the way too."

Amongst the field of Aston Martins, the British marque's double factory entry comprises near production standard four-door Rapide and V12 Vantage entries. The number seven Rapide, driven by Aston Martin's CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez (D), journalist Matthew Marsh (HOK), the company's Nurburgring Test Centre Director; Wolfgang Schuhbauer (D) and engineering manager; Chris Porritt (GB).

The number six V12 Vantage is piloted by experienced sports car drivers Peter Cate (GB), Oliver Mathai (D), journalist Richard Meaden (GB) and Chris Porritt, who will undertake stints in both the Rapide and V12 Vantage entries.

The 38th ADAC Nurburgring 24-hour race begins at 15.00 CET on Saturday 15 May 2010.

-source: aston martin

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Series Endurance
Drivers Ulrich Bez , Oliver Mathai , Matthew Marsh , Wolfgang Schuhbauer , Chris Porritt , Richard Meaden , Peter Cate