Aston Martin squeezes in an extra race for the V12 Zagato at the Nürburgring

Aston Martin V12 Zagato at the Nürburgring – Click above for high-res image gallery

There are plenty of things to admire about a company like Aston Martin, and not the least of them is that it loves racing as much as it loves making sports cars.

Take its latest product, for example. After its debut at the Villa d'Este concours, Aston announced that it would take the V12 Zagato for a short race at the Nürburgring and then a full 24-hour assault later this month. The first one already took place, and the second one hasn't rolled around yet, but Aston has already found time to fit in an extra race in between.

After the solitary entry failed to finish the last round of the VLN series it contested at the 'Ring, Aston will now field two entries at this weekend's race. One team will be headed by the company's CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez, the other by Chris Porritt (the chief engineer on the One-77 project, along with Evo magazine's Richard Meaden).

The race will take place over four hours from noon local time on Saturday, which you can follow on the company's Twitter feed. But for a closer look right now, you can check out the gallery of images of the V12 Zagato from its previous encounter with the Green Hell, along with the press release after the jump.
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8 June, 2011. Aston Martin's new V12 Zagato endurance race car concept will return to the Nürburgring this weekend for final preparations ahead of the 24-hour race hosted at the famous German circuit at the end of the month.

Competing in the 51st ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen VLN5 four-hour race on Saturday will be two examples of the V12 Zagato endurance race car which won the Concorso d'Eleganza Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes at its first public appearance at the Villa D'Este Concours last month.

This warm-up race - used as a test session ahead of the Nürburgring 24-hour race which takes place between 25th - 26th June - will be the first time two new V12 Zagato race cars have been in action together after one of the pair enjoyed its first running under race conditions at the 53rd ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN race last month. This weekend will be used to refine race setup and allow further driver familiarisation with the new cars on the gruelling 25.378km circuit.

Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez will lead the driver team joined by the company's Nürburgring Test Centre Director, Wolfgang Schuhbauer plus experienced amateur racer Peter Cate in the first of the two V12 Zagato's. The sister car will be driven by One-77 Chief Engineer Chris Porritt, experienced sports car driver Oliver Mathai and automotive journalist Richard Meaden.

Introduced as a modern interpretation of the famous Aston Martin and Zagato collaboration in the 50th anniversary year of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, the V12 Zagato revives a collaboration which has produced some of the most beautiful and sought-after cars in the world. The partnership takes inspiration from the past to create a modern interpretation based on Aston Martin's ultimate performance interpretation of the Vantage range: the V12 Vantage.

The 51st ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen VLN5 four-hour race starts at noon Central European Time on Saturday 11th June with live updates on the progress of the Aston Martin V12 Zagato available by following @astonmartin – the company's official Twitter feed.

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