Aston Martin will return to the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour race, staged on the world famous Nürburgring Nordschleife (May 10-13), with a two-car entry featuring all six of its 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship factory GTE Pro drivers.
The British manufacturer will enter a V12 Vantage GT3 in the SP9 category for Maxime Martin (B), Marco Sõrensen (DK) and 2017 SP8 class winners Darren Turner (GB) and Nicki Thiim (DN). In addition, the factory will defend its SP8 victory with a GT4-specification Aston Martin V8 Vantage driven by an all-British team of Alex Lynn, Jonny Adam, Peter Cate and Jamie Chadwick – the first woman to race a factory Aston Martin in a 24-hour race.
Prior to this, both cars will compete in this weekend’s six-hour qualification race (April 15), giving the V12 Vantage GT3 car – competing in the category most likely to produce the N24’s overall winner – an opportunity to guarantee itself a top-30 grid position for the main event.
Both cars will be presented in Aston Martin’s familiar Sterling Green colours and are standard Vantage GT3 and GT4s configured to comply with VLN regulations.
Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth said: “The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a unique event in the world of endurance racing and is rightly considered an important target for us. It is an immensely challenging race for the drivers and team, and it is the perfect test of performance and durability for our car. We are bringing a very strong driver line-up with considerable experience of the N24 in a proven car. Our clear objective is to get the best result possible and to build our drivers experience for the future.”
David King, President, Aston Martin Racing, added: “Aston Martin returns to the Nürburgring proud of its past achievements on a circuit famous for its challenging and daunting nature. We’ve not yet achieved our long-held ambition of winning this great race outright. We think it is most important to bring the charismatic the V12 Vantage GT3 back for its factory swansong in a major 24-hour event and it’s a mark of the car’s pedigree that seven years after it first raced it remains a competitive proposition.
“Deploying all of our current FIA WEC Pro line-up means we are also ensuring that we keep them both well-prepared for other notable 24-hour events coming up on the calendar and familiar with the N24 with a view to whatever approach we may take to the event in 2019 and beyond. It’s a tribute to their adaptability and commitment that two of them are happy to make the switch to a GT4 car for the weekend.”