Aston Martin celebrated ten years of competing at the Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race this weekend (16/17 May) and, in a fitting tribute, the #49 Vantage N430, donning the same livery as the brand’s debut entry in 2006, crossed the line in first place in the SP8 class.
The weekend marked a decade since the Aston Martin engineering team entered a race-prepared V8 Vantage road car into the Nürburgring 24-hour race. The car, affectionately named Rose, marked the birth of a new generation of Vantage-based sports cars and paved the way for Aston Martin Racing’s Vantage GT4.
To mark the occasion, the Aston Martin Vantage N430 – running in the close-to-production-specification SP8 class – was adorned in Rose’s yellow livery and it crossed the line in first place with Aston Martin’s non-executive Chairman Dr Ulrich Bez behind the wheel.
“Watching the Vantage N430 cross the line in the same livery that Rose had ten years ago is something quite special,” commented Aston Martin’s head of motorsport David King. “We’ve come such a long way with our motorsport program at the Nürburgring in the last ten years and we’ve fought some really tough battles here.”
In addition, Aston Martin Racing’s customer team Mathol Racing took top honors in the GT4 class with Stadavita Racing Team close behind in second place.
However, both V12 Vantage GT3s succumbed to the ‘Green Hell’ during the course of the race. During the evening, the #007 car found oil out on circuit and collided with the wall, however the car was back on track in less than thirty minutes. Despite dropping to 25th place it finally finished in 16th overall. Several hours later, the #006 suffered a powertrain issue, which forced it to retire from eighth position.
“It’s great to see Dr Bez contest his tenth consecutive 24-hour race at the Nürburgring,” explained Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer. “Bringing home the class win is a fantastic way to celebrate competing in a race that has become a key part of our history. The Nürburgring is the perfect track for us to test and develop our road cars and today has proven that it takes no prisoners – it really is the most demanding and challenging circuit in the world.
“From this we must refocus our attention and head to Le Mans in four weeks time with our five-car Vantage GTE program.”