While Aston Martin has been racing at the annual Nordschleife event for a decade, 2015 is only the third time that its works race team has entered the top SP9 class for GT3 cars.
In 2013, with the car running in the iconic blue and yellow livery of Aston Martin’s technical partner Bilstein for the first time, the team finished tenth after leading the gruelling race for more than half the running time, and in 2014 it finished fifth. This year, Team Principal John Gaw is confident that the race win could be within sight.
“The worst thing you can do at the Nürburgring is underestimate it,” he commented. “However, we’ve shown in the last two years that we have the potential to take the outright race win.
“We’ve learned a lot here, and this year we come with two cars which are well proven and fantastically reliable, and a strong driver line-up. The race win is the ultimate goal.”
Aston Martin Engineering Team
Continuing its tradition of intensive product prove-out at this unique and gruelling race, Aston Martin will also enter two race-prepared Vantage GT12s in the event’s close-to-production SP8 class.
The Vantage GT12 was launched to worldwide acclaim in March this year at the Geneva Motorshow, with all 100 examples sold before the car was publicly unveiled. Taking its inspiration directly from Aston Martin Racing’s Vantage GT3, the Vantage GT12 benefits from the learning drawn from the brand’s ten years of racing and developing its road cars at the Nürburgring.
In the 24-hour race, the Vantage GT12s will run as close to production specification as possible with only required racing safety upgrades added, emphasising its track capabilities and demonstrating its durability under the most intense conditions.
David King, Director of Special Projects and Motorsport at Aston Martin said: “This is a unique event where our professional AMR race team and our Gaydon engineering team come together to compete as one entity. The team spirit is very special and we learn a great deal, both technically and organisationally, each year. I am very proud that we have kept a 100 percent finishing record over the past ten years and we will be doing everything possible to maintain that.”
He added: “We are very fortunate to have the continued backing and technical support of partners Bilstein and Castrol, as well as tyre partner Michelin who have been selected as tyre supplier for the Vantage GT12 road car.”
Finally, to celebrate the company’s tenth year at the race, the brand’s line-up will be completed by a Vantage GT4 to be driven by Aston Martin non-executive chairman, Dr Ulrich Bez, and presented in the same yellow livery as the original Vantage N24 he drove in 2006.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours starts at 16:00hrs CET on 16 May. Follow and support the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Periscope using #teamAMR.