Gaydon 3 May 2011. Over the bank holiday weekend, Aston Martin entered Vantage-based race cars at the 36th DMV VLN 4 hour race at the Nürburgring and at the first round of the GT4 Challenge of Great Britain – the factory’s one-make race series.
In Germany, despite an eventful race with two punctures and some contact damage the factory race team still managed to achieve a win and a second place in class.
The bright green Aston Martin V12 Vantage (Kermit) won the SP8 class with Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Chris Porritt, journalist Richard Meaden and experienced sports car driver Peter Cate at the wheel. Porritt in 20th overall, was forced onto a raised kerb on the last lap of the race causing damage to the steering rack, but despite this managed to bring Kermit home at reduced speed to secure the class win.
The second V12 Vantage (Woody) driven by Nürburgring Test Centre Director, Wolfgang Schuhbauer and journalists Horst von Saurma and Matthew Marsh suffered a puncture far away from the pits, and despite losing much time achieved 2nd in class.
A third car, a V8 Vantage was entered for Aston Martin Racing works driver Darren Turner who was taking his first steps to learn the daunting Nordschleife circuit and for Canadian journalist, Mark Hacking. A puncture resulting in subsequent transmission damage halfway through the race resulted in a retirement.
David King, Aston Martin Head of Motorsport said: “The race pace was really fast and we pushed harder than before suffering a couple of dramas along the way. However the fact that we still achieved this result is a testament to the team. The result today was well deserved; this second round of the season is another step in preparing us for the Nürburgring 24 hours in June. We are in good shape, and look forward to the main event of the season.”
Aston Martin customer team Mathol Racing with drivers Wolfgang Weber, Norbert Bermes and Rickard Nilsson continued their success in the SP10 class for GT4 cars crossing the line in first place and 34th overall in their V8 Vantage.
Meanwhile at Silverstone, UK, Aston Martin entered a 2011 Vantage GT4 (Alec) in unique livery with journalist driver Owen Mildenhall and Design Director Marek Reichman. Owen completed some quick qualifying laps on the National Circuit to qualify the team in 4th position. Following a difficult start owing to traffic, the team lost some places however recovered, resulting in the car crossing the line 90 minutes later in third position with a celebration on the podium.
The Oerlikon Graziano and Concept International sponsored factory Vantage GT4 will be contesting the GT4 Challenge of Great Britain with various journalist guest drivers throughout the season. Silverstone saw the car nicknamed ‘Alec’ owing to its chassis number ‘006’, liveried in an X-Ray motif showing the VH architecture beneath and its strong relation to the road going V8 Vantage.
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