• Jun 19th 2006 at 7:04PM
  • 11
AM V* Vantage at Nurburgring 24

"Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" is how the old saying goes, but maybe we can change it to "Finish on Sunday, Sell on Monday" in the case of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. That's because an almost-stock Vantage entered and completed this past weekend's Nurburgring 24-Hour race. The only modifications to the car were to address safety requirements and pit lane needs. The car had a roll cage, racing fuel system, fire protection, racing seat, and hydraulic jacks installed. Nothing else was touched. It ran on the stock engine and transmission, and wore stock bodywork.

Aston didn't exactly pack the driver list with no-names either. The group of four who piloted the Vantage was headlined by none other than Aston Martin's Chairman and CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez. He and three co-drivers completed 130 laps in the endurance race, finishing 4th in class and 24th overall.To further put that achievement into perspective, 220 cars started the race, many of them pure race-spec models.

The eyebrow-raising performance makes one think. If an almost dead-stock Vantage can run competitively in a 24 hour endurance race, imagine what a fully race-prepped car could do. Such a vehicle would make the already competitive, and growing ALMS/Le Mans GT2 class even more interesting than it has already become.

The entry of the Vantage at the Nurburgring 24 was a factory experiment, but the results are a very clear warning shot to other manufacturers:

On the racetrack, the DBR9's baby brother looks like its quite capable of holding its own.

(Press release, more pictures after the jump)

[Source: Aston Martin] Dr. Ulrich Bez at the wheelV8 Vantage at Nurburgring 24

Aston Martin production V8 Vantage fourth in class at 24-hour Nürburgring

June 18, 2006:   A factory prepared Aston Martin V8 Vantage has taken its place in the company's history books after finishing a credible fourth in class and 24th overall at the Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race, among a field of largely motorsport-homologated cars.

Negotiating a field of 220 cars, the four drivers: Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Chris Porritt, Aston Martin's Vehicle Engineering Manager; Horst von Saurma, editor-in-chief of Sport Auto magazine, and development driver Wolfgang Schuhbauer, all raced flawlessly through more than 130 laps on one of the most demanding circuits in the world.

Built at Aston Martin's Gaydon headquarters the V8 Vantage was almost entirely production standard, including the engine and transmission.  The only modifications made were for safety and pit-lane efficiency, with the full mandatory safety cage, special fuel tank and fire system, racing seat, and built-in air jacks.

Conditions tested the drivers to the extreme with track temperatures reaching 43°C and from the initial 220 cars on the starting grid, only 141 finished.   Despite these conditions, the V8 Vantage kept a steady pace avoiding traffic, resulting in a smooth race from start to finish.

Dr. Bez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin said:  "We delivered exactly what we set out to do by finishing the 24 hours without any technical problems or team issues.  It is a real achievement to complete the race in the top 25 with a standard production V8 Vantage and shows the true capabilities of both the car and the team."

Chris Porritt added: "This has been a real test of endurance for the car and the whole team.  It's been a thrilling 24 hours and a real challenge for us all."

Dave King, Aston Martin's Team manager concluded: "We are all delighted with the team's progress throughout the event, it is a testament to all the members to finish with this result considering it is our first 24 hour race." 

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      its good to see more aston martins back in racing
      i think its an awesome achievement,not bad when you think that the only cars in their class that beat them were-
      a dodge viper,that came 3rd overall!
      a Lamborghini Gallardo GTR,
      and a RACE SPEC audi rs4 that they were less that 2 minutes behind!! (420hp in stock form and 4 wheel drive)

      go to the race results and select sp8 where it says Gesamtwertung to see what they beat in their class!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      The interior appears to be far from stock. And I wouldnt call those lights in the grill stock either.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The race results here: http://adac.24h-rennen.de/portals/24h/extern/ResultDB/live.asp

      They finshed behind some notable cars including a BMW 120d (as in diesel), Honda Civic Type R, and a Hyundai Coupe (I think that's the Tiberon in the US)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Finishing a 24h endurance race with a stock drivetrain is quiet impressive. Congrats to the Aston boys. I'm sure miracle workers over at Prodrive are licking their chops over this one. I agree with Alex that this car has ALMS GT2 written all over it. With Panoz finally providing a challenge to Porsche, I'm drooling over the possibilities of having a three-way shoot-out (four if Ferrari gets their act together).
      • 9 Years Ago
      "The car had a roll cage, racing fuel system, fire protection, racing seat, and hydraulic jacks installed. Nothing else was touched."

      Doesn't look like it to me. On the interior shot you can see the roof carpet has been removed and in general all the interior has been removed.

      I would not call that production trim.

      And although its finish is impressive, to brag about how it beat a majority of the field is a little suspect. There are many car classes in the race, and I wouldn't be bragging that they beat the class where Honda Civics race and such..
      • 9 Years Ago
      It might be an impressive feat, but having the CEO of Aston Martin as a principal driver, I doubt it was a standard Vantage off the line. I am sure whoever built the engine for that particular car knew exactly where it was going.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Big deal, stripped interior, they did install a roll cage, therefore had to strip it anyway. And had you taken the time to read the article and not just look at the picture you would realize the lights are a safety requirement.
      • 9 Years Ago

      Scroll down on the results link and find Herman Tilke in 2nd to last in a Gallardo!
      • 9 Years Ago
      And now you can buy a V8 just like that and go racing! I'm proud to see the car line I work on doing so well. Cheers!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Who gives a crap if they stripped the interior? The point trying to be made is that the stock drivetrain coped with the rigors of a 24 hour race, not that the driver did so on comfy leather seats surrounded by fancy wood trim.

      - R
      • 9 Years Ago
      Interior being stripped is part of the fire protection. All the modifications had nothing to do with performance or handling except in the pits. I would say that's a pretty bone stock street racing car! Good job AM!