• Apr 6th 2010 at 9:28AM
  • 16

Aston Martin Rapide Nürburgring racer – Click above for high-res image

Round-the-clock endurance races typically demand the participation of three or even four-man teams, taking shifts as the sun rises and falls on the circuit. The car they're driving, though, doesn't usually have the capacity to carry the entire team. But as if to emphasize once again the true sporting nature of its latest product, Aston Martin will be taking on the competition this year at the Nürburgring 24 in a damn-near-bone-stock Rapide.

In addition to its innumerable victories in Le Mans-class racing, Aston has had great success at the 'Ring in the SP8 category, which it has won the past two years running. In fact last year, a V12 Vantage took the class win and placed 21st overall in the race, outshining a wide array of dedicated race machinery.

Like the V12 Vantage (which will also run this year's event) the Rapide endurance racer will run with very few modifications, limited largely to the removal of interior trim, the addition of some mandatory safety equipment, and racing slicks mounted to a readjusted suspension. That's about it. Aston chief Dr. Ulrich Bez will once again lead the team of factory drivers, and we'll be watching on May 15-16 to see if the four-door can make it three-for-three. Full details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Aston Martin]
Show full PR text
Aston Martin Rapide to contest gruelling Nürburgring 24-hour Race

Gaydon, Warwickshire 6 April 2010. Aston Martin will return to the starting grid of the legendary Nordschleife circuit for the fifth consecutive year at the 38th ADAC Nürburgring 24-hour race on 15/16 May 2010 with the marque's new four-door sports car; the Rapide.

Further underlining the sporting credentials of Aston Martin's latest model, the Rapide will compete in the demanding 24-hour race – as has been the case with other recent Aston Martin road cars, the V8 Vantage and V12 Vantage. The Rapide will compete in near-standard specification apart from mandatory changes required to compete in this most demanding of endurance races and will be driven by a team of engineers from the company's Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire, England.

Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez who will lead the Rapide driver team, explained: "This race represents the ultimate final engineering durability test for any sports car – it subjects the car to the toughest possible assessment under public scrutiny.

"The Rapide has the capability to carry four people in comfort but first and foremost it is a sports car and we will subject it to the same tests we would our other sports cars. We already have a proven track record at the Nürburgring racing our road cars with limited modification and in recent years we have enjoyed success in winning the SP8 class both in 2008 and 2009."

The Rapide race car will be close to production standard with only essential race safety modifications, interior trim removed to reduce weight, re-tuned suspension and will run on slick tyres designed for track use.

The Aston Martin Rapide encapsulates the values of Aston Martin in pure four-door sports car form with an unrivalled combination of performance, comfort, craftsmanship and exceptionally elegant design. Since the Rapide's original premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009 the car has gone on to win the widespread approval of customers and media commentators alike, prompting strong global demand for the car. Deliveries of the Rapide commence later this month through Aston Martin's 125-strong global dealership network.

The Rapide race car will be joined by a V12 Vantage – again modified only slightly for racing – which in 2009 swept to a class win on its competitive race debut. The near production standard V12 Vantage – which finished in 21st place overall last year – saw off competition from a field of largely specialist race cars in the SP8 class to claim an impressive debut win.

Further details on the V12 Vantage and the full driver line-ups for both Aston Martin entries plus details on a number of customer teams competing in the race will follow in the coming weeks.
The 38th ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour race will take place on 15/16 May 2010.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who thinks it looks like a Maserati in this color?
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Removal of interior trim". So i guess we'll be getting a proper Aston out of all of this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aston Martin manufactures GT cars. Grand Touring. Touring. Comfort. ......Wait......Wait........yep, always has.

        I applaud your desire for lighter, more sport-oriented vehicles, but a "proper Aston" is a very rapid vehicle of luxury and you're an absolute ignoramus if you think otherwise.

        Stop trolling. You ruin the whole argument when the rest of us less ignorant folk post "add lightness" with merit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      they let slow cars on tarck ? wierd
        • 5 Years Ago
        And he doesn't know much about racing either. Yes, they let slow cars on tracks. If it has wheels people will race it. That's human nature.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You post tells me two things. You can't spell, and you don't know much about the Rapide.
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMO, more motor racing the world over should be like this. Near stock vehicles competing in similar classes. Imagine real Fusions, Malibus, Camrys (don't know if a Sebring could cut it) duking it out on tracks where they turn left and right. Yeah, I know. Bubba wouldn't show if they wasn't no big 'ol V8 motors and crashin' I'd just like to see some real factory metal racing in some big-time events. May the best automaker (not race shop) win.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah! Since the cars would be stock we could call it 'Stock Car Racing'!...Oh wait...

      • 5 Years Ago
      Just my opinion, but I think Aston Martin produces some of the nicest looking cars in the ultra lux segment; sport, clean lines, yet sophisticated.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Absolutely correct, and so much nicer looking than the Porsche Panamera.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think those who disagree with you are in the extreme minority. Every time my neighbor's white AMV8 cab goes by I just stare. Such a wonderful looking car... even if it is mired in dirt :/.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I promise, that's not just your opinion.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks for having my back, Gator.

        I've always loved A/M's, though I highly doubt that any time in my life I'll ever be near to owning one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rapide DBS announcement to come summer, 2010.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wonder if Porsche will bring a near stock Panamerica then. If the Rapide is ahead of it at the start, the Porsche's styling just may scare the AM to the win.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol, well, that and the porsche is a dramatically faster and better handling car. If any four door production car stood the chance of winning the class at the 24 hours it's the panamera turbo
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