Paul Regan27 May 2009

The ‘other’ 24hr race

VW and Aston score class wins at the most gruelling of endurance races – the Nurburgring 24hr

Aston Martin at the Nurburgring

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Another week, another Nurburgring story, and this time it's Volkswagen and Aston doing the shouting - both celebrating class wins at the 24hr race this weekend.

Yes, an actual race. Not the usual 'Ring chassis development story or vanity lap time (James May has some words to say about this in the latest issue of Top Gear magazine) but real, proper competition.

VW scored two victories in petrol- and gas-powered cars, finishing 15th and 17th overall, while Aston brought its new V12 Vantage home top in its field, 21st overall.

Lexus, meanwhile, kept ominously quiet about the two LF-A prototype racers it lined up - without doubt the most awesome-sounding cars on the Nordschliefe, but they finished 87th and, er, nowhere.

The overall race winner was a Porsche 911 GT3 - in fact, almost the entire top 10 was made up by teams using 911s, joined by a couple of Audi R8 LMs and a solitary BMW Z4 M Coupe.

Overshadowed a bit by the Le Mans, the Nurburgring 24hrs is arguably the most gruelling of the endurance races. It uses all 14-odd miles of the Nordschleife and is geared more towards production cars and, relatively at least, amateur drivers.

But, is it better than Le Mans? Been to either? Let us know.

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