Matthew Jones14 May 2012

Aston’s going to the Nurburgring

AM’s competing in this year’s N24 race. Aren’t the cars pretty?

Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

Yes, Aston Martin's taking eight racers to James' favourite holiday destination for enduro epic, the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours.

It's the seventh time Aston's braving what Jackie Stewart christened the ‘Green Hell', but this is the first year it'll lunge into the SP9 category. This one's reserved for FIA-homologated GT3 cars and AM's using a pair of V12 Vantage GT3s run in association with official partner team, Young Driver AMR.

The lead Vantage GT3, which wears the half-cool-half-lame #007 designation, is getting steered by Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck - sons of triple Nürburgring 24 Hour winner, Hans-Joachim Stuck - alongside Dennis Rostek and Aston Martin Racing factory driver Darren Turner. Turner's regular works teammate, Stefan Mücke, is driving the #006 GT3 car with Tomas Enge, Fredy Barth and Oliver Mathai.

Aston's engineering department's also bringing along the really rather special V12 Zagato concept - it made its debut at last year's N24, and our man Jason Barlow was there, replete with clenched buttocks and comprehensive medical insurance, to try it for himself.

See this year's Aston Martin Zagato racer here

The fourth official entry is a V8-powered Vantage run by Aston Martin's Nürburgring Test Centre team and driven by Jurgen Stumpf, Mal Rose, Rob Thomson, and Peter Cate (GB). There's another four AMs racing via customer outfits, including Team Mathol Racing, winners of the SP10 class for GT4 cars in 2010.

Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez, says: "In the past six years we have deliberately focused on racing close-to-production cars, achieving seven class podiums and three class wins. For 2012, I am delighted to be returning again to drive our V12 Zagato with my engineering team, but also to have such an exciting step up with the V12 Vantage GT3s."

Excited to see some British beef on the ‘Ring, TopGear.commers?

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