Nürburgring, 22 June 2014 – Aston Martin has finished fifth overall in the 2014 Nürburgring 24 Hours in its #007 V12 Vantage GT3 race car and has taken three class podiums with its close-to-production V12 Vantage and pair of V8 Vantage GTs.
The iconic blue and yellow Bilstein-liveried #007 car, which recorded the fastest lap of the race with Darren Turner (GB) behind the wheel, completed 156 laps of the 15.5-mile circuit and showed the pace and reliability to be in contention for the win. However, refuelling issues early in the race hampered the charge and Turner and his team-mates, Stefan Mücke (DE) and Pedro Lamy (PT) were left playing catch up for most of the 24 hours.
However, in the final laps the car was locked in a gripping battle for fifth place, but it was Aston Martin Racing works driver Lamy who came out on top to record the best finish yet for the British marque at the Nürburgring race.
“I was expecting that it would be a relaxing final stint – I just needed to bring the car home but then I had the BMW come out if the pits right behind me and it was looking to take the position.
“We were fast but it was fast too. In traffic it was difficult but it worked for us in the end. Considering the experience we have compared to all these teams, we got a great result. I’m pleased for everyone at Aston Martin it is a great team to be part of.”
In the SP10 class, Nürburgring experts Andreas Gülden (DE) and Oliver Mathai (DE) were joined by British journalists Richard Meaden and Chris Harris, and together they finished in second place in the V8 Vantage GT’s maiden race.
“I had contact with one of the lead GT3 cars in the small hours and that cost us half an hour, the team did a fantastic job replacing the steering arm and we’ve pushed ever since,” commented Harris. “The Vantage GT hasn’t missed a beat and Nürburgring 24 Hours remains the most colourful, exciting and challenging race of all.”
Aston Martin customers Liam Talbot (AU), Egon Allgäuer (DE), Peter Cate (GB) and Marcus Mahy (GB) finished in second place in the SP8 class for cars over 4.0-litres in the #55 Aston Martin Test Centre-prepared V12 Vantage.
“I came to Nürbrugring in 2012 as a guest of Aston Martin and I was blown away by the teams, cars and drivers, but thought that, having no racing experience, I would never be able to compete here,” commented Talbot. “However, the Aston Martin Test Centre team enrolled me on the Driver Training Academy and from there I got my race licence. Now, just two years later, I’m stood here on the podium and I couldn’t be happier.”
In the same class, the #70 Vantage competed with a team of drivers from the Test Centre, joined by Australians Mal Rose and Peter Leemhuis and, despite a minor issue with the cooling system due to damage from debris on track, the team still took third in the class.
“To compete in Nürburgring 24 Hours and finish in the top five is no mean feat,” commented Head of Motorsport David King. “To come here with only one car against the might of the German car industry was a challenge, but the team rose to it magnificently, and showed that a win in the near future is within our reach.”