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Click above for a high-res gallery of the V12 Vantage preparing for the Nürburgring 24-hour race

It started with one lone V8 Vantage, dubbed the N24, that ran the Nürburgring 24-hour race in 2006. Last year, that first racer, a yellow car dubbed "Rose," won class honors in the race. This year, it will be joined by five more Vantages, one of them being the 510 horsepower V12 Vantage introduced in Geneva earlier this year.

Only three of the six cars will be factory efforts. The slightly modified V12 Vantage will be piloted by Aston CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez and three co-drivers, and "Rose" will be driven by another team of three. Privateer entrants will be headed by Richard Kramer, an Austrian Aston dealer whose Vantage N24 is being supported by the factory.

You can read the full press release after the jump, and check out live action from the weekend's qualifying and race at the ADAC site.

[Source: Aston Martin]



Nürburgring, 21 May 2009. Six Aston Martins will be amongst the 180 entrants in the Nürburgring 24 hour race – one of the toughest endurance tests in motorsport – spearheaded by a factory entered version of the British marque's new V12 Vantage.

The V12 Vantage, in near-standard specification, will be driven by Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez (DE), Chris Porritt (GB), Oliver Mathai (DE) and Richard Meaden (GB). 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 able to compete in this most demanding of endurance races.

Joining Aston Martin's latest model, driven by Wolfgang Schuhbauer (DE), Shinichi Katsura (J) and Horst von Saurma (DE), will be 'Rose', the yellow V8 Vantage N24 and now endurance veteran that first entered the race in 2006. Rose provided the original inspiration behind the N24/GT4 racing programme and returns to the Nordschleife having now clocked up a staggering four consecutive 24-hour race finishes including a class victory in last year's Nürburgring 24 hour race.

Aston Martin will also be supporting a Vantage N24 entry for a customer team headed by the company's Austrian dealer, Richard Karner.

Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez said: "For me, this race is still the ultimate endurance challenge for any car and it is right that we subject our new V12 Vantage to this extraordinary test.

"This race is also a great occasion in Europe with support from thousands of enthusiasts and I am delighted that so many customer teams are able to join us. Of course, we hope that we can all finish the race but also have some fun too."

The first of two qualifying sessions begin this evening (Thursday) before concluding on Friday morning before the 37th ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour race begins at 4pm local time (3pm GMT) on 23 May 2009.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a heck of a lot of vantages...better win something or it's gonna have the opposite of what I presume is the desired effect of getting more wins.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Woohoo, the Aston V12 finished first in class, 21st overall! One of the drivers was Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston's CEO. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! One of his co-drivers, Richard Meaden is my personal hero. Absolute legends, the lot of them. Congrats also to Oliver Mathai and Chris Porritt, who co-drove too.
      Can of worms: oh, did the Corvette crash out? Shame......
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh ja! Hehe...

      I think it'll be a good time for the racers even at these times.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Beautiful cars. Pity that they aren't even in the top 30 standings for the official race. It's all about the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 who round up the top 5.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Is that for the V8 cars currently, or the new V12 equipped versions?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree with AJJB...it's really cool that the CEO is driving.

      I think the Vantage is one of the most beautiful cars on the road. But how come you can't get a sunroof in the coupe? Ridiculous. Other than that I am a huge fan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's it. I'm in. Sign me up for one of these Astons. It's own CEO is not just some lame guy being pampered in expensive business schools and therefore pampered for the rest of his life for no reasons (insert anything economic downturn related here), but he is actually racing his own products. Hopefully not just a publicity stunt.
      JDM Life
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it just me or is this V12 underpowered....

      Theres V8 and V10 pushing out more power then this....and a 0-60 time of 4.2, its already beaten to 60 by the F430 which has been out some time now, the C63 could also give it a good run. Putting such a big engine in such a small car should have better performance numbers, it should have also had more power.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        I think the V8 is a much better sounding car personally but agreed, 0-60 times and skidpad grip aren't huge for people just driving for enjoyment.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        The current power output could be to do with the amount of heat this engine may produce within a small engine bay if it was increased.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        I'm sure if you were driving it, listening to the V12 sing, howl, and cry, while you pilot one of the most beautiful machines ever made...

        ...underpowered would be the last thought on your mind.

        This machine is fast, but it's not about being fastest. It's about being one of the great sporting motorcars of all time.