Aston to the power of 12

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Aston Martin will be tackling the Nürburgring 24 hour race this year with a new V12 Vantage. Aston claim the V12 racer is as close to the road going model as practicable, with just safety and weight modifications to make it suitable for the event.

That means the drivers will have 510bhp and 570Nm at their disposal. Exactly the same as regular customers who begin taking deliveries of the new model in July this year. Not sure if the lairy blue paint job is an option for the road cars, though.

Since resuming their participation at the Ring 24 hour race in 2006, with a V8 Vantage, Aston has a 100 per cent finishing record. A record they hope to keep in tact in 2009.

Joining the V12 Vantage will be the company’s original V8 Vantage GT4 car, affectionately known as ‘Rose’. This will be the car’s fourth consecutive N24 race and the car now has in excess of 20,000 racing miles.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Aston Martin BDR1 winning the Nürburgring 1000km race. Back in 1959 Sir Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman drove the DBR1 at the Ring. In the same year Roy Salvadori and Carol Shelby drove the car to outright sucess at the Le Mans 24 hour race.

A full press statement from Aston, including quotes from Dr Ulrich Bez, can be read below.


Gaydon, Warwickshire 24 April 2009. Aston Martin will return to the starting grid of the legendary Nordschleife for the fourth consecutive year at the 37th ADAC Nürburgring 24-hour race on 23/24 May 2009 with the new V12 Vantage. Joining the marque’s latest model will be ‘Rose’, the yellow V8 Vantage that was first entered into the race in 2006.

Headlining this year’s factory effort and aiming to repeat Aston Martin’s untarnished record of finishing the 24-hour race, will be the marque’s new V12 Vantage in near-standard specification driven by Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez and representatives from the company’s engineering team. Premiered at the Geneva Auto Salon in early March, the V12 Vantage is the ultimate incarnation of the Vantage range featuring a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (517 PS) and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque. With just minor modifications, the standard car is being readied to compete in the most demanding of endurance races.

Dr Ulrich Bez who will be driving in his fourth consecutive 24-hour race, said: “This is the final engineering durability test for the V12 Vantage programme. We will be subjecting the car to the toughest assessment yet under public scrutiny as we successfully did with the Vantage N24 programme.

“We already have a proven track record at the Nürburgring racing our road cars with limited modification and in 2009 we also celebrate our 50-year anniversary of winning the ADAC Nürburgring 1000 km with a DBR1.”

The V12 Vantage race car will be close to production standardwith only essential safety modifications, reduced weight and re-tuned suspension with no additional aerodynamic enhancements. Production tyre partner Pirelli has specially selected P Zero Circuit Racing slick tyres to enhance performance, ensuring consistency and to provide a tangible performance link to the V12 Vantage road car.

Aston Martin is expecting a number of customer teams to join the V12 Vantage on the starting grid. ‘Rose’, the yellow V8 Vantage and original inspiration behind the N24/GT4 programme will also be making a return to the Nordschleife having now clocked up four 24-hour race finishes and more than 20,000 endurance miles.

Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport, David King said: “The Vantage N24/GT4 programme has been a huge success to date. Since its inception in 2006, no standard N24 from the factory or customer team has failed to finish a 24-hour endurance race in 13 starts around the world – a remarkable testament to the durability of the Vantage.”

The 37th ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour race will take place on 23/24 May 2009.

V12 Vantage
Based on the hugely successful V8 Vantage, the production V12 Vantage features a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS), and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque with a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) and 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 4.2 seconds.

Designed for the focused driver, every component of the V12 Vantage has been honed with pure driving enjoyment in mind. Benefitting from race-developed materials and components, and featuring lightweight carbon fibre; performance and agility have been tuned to perfection.

Visually enticing, the V12 Vantage expresses its performance potential through its purposeful stance created by enhanced aerodynamic and cooling aids optically widening the car, while retaining traditional understated Aston Martin design. Equally inviting, the cosseting interior permits the driver to extract maximum performance ability from the car while also enjoying customary levels of Aston Martin comfort on longer journeys. High levels of power and torque are available at all engine speeds making the V12 Vantage responsive and tractable in any driving situation.

First deliveries of the V12 Vantage to customers start in July 2009, priced at £135,000. Production is strictly limited to 1,000 examples over the life-span of the car.

Aston Martin DBR1

1959 ADAC Nürburgring 1,000 kilometres
Driven by Sir Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman in 1959, the Aston Martin works entry DBR1, during the David Brown era of company ownership, was just one of the endurance race victories achieved in that year. In the same car Roy Salvadori and Carol Shelby won the Sports Car Championship including the Le Mans 24-hours outright.

In the June 12 1959 edition of the UK motorsport magazine Autosport it was reported: “They beat them [Ferrari] with a combination of utterly superlative driving and superb strategy allied to a very fine motor car indeed. The race must go down in history as an unrivalled demonstration of supremely skilled high-speed driving.”

N24 programme
In 2006 a small team of Aston Martin engineers took a near-standard V8 Vantage to the 34th ADAC Nürburgring 24-hour race having had no previous race experience before. The Vantage finished 4th in class and 20th overall among a field of 220 entrants. It was a testament to the durability of the Vantage and the team. In July 2006, Dr Ulrich Bez announced plans to build 24 identical cars to be named Vantage N24 citing it as the perfect gentleman’s racing car. Such was the demand, production was transferred to Aston Martin Racing in 2008. Since 2007, 63 have been sold and every factory-standard N24/GT4 (Nomenclature changed in 2008 from ‘N24’ to ‘GT4’ to bring it in line with the GT4 race category) has completed every 24-hour race in which it has been entered.