The N24 is a grueling, 24-hour endurance race around the Nurburgring’s north loop, the Nordschleife. It features over 200 cars, more than 700 drivers, and countless amounts of fuel, blood, and courage.
Since the inaugural N24 in 1970, Aston Martin has never taken an overall win. This year, the Brits are hoping to change that.
In order to meet this lofty goal, Aston Martin Racing has assembled an elite fleet of its best vehicles and drivers. Let’s meet the team, shall we?
A striking blue and yellow V12 Vantage GT3 will compete for an overall race win in the top SP9 class. The Castrol and Bilstein-sponsored racer features a 600-horsepower V12, mounted behind the front axle for optimal weight distribution. Its massive power is sent to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber propshaft, and is mated to an Xtrac sequential transmission and limited slip differential.
“The Nurburgring 24 Hours is one of the most challenging races in the world,” explains John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing. “Aston Martin has an exceptional 100% finishing record in the race and our aim with the GT3 is not only to maintain this, but to give our all to challenging for the race win.”
Aston will also run two race-spec V8 Vantage GTs, one in the SP8 class and one in the SP10 class. Their fourth entry, a near stock V12 Vantage, will also run in the SP8 class.
Aston will have strong competition this year from Mercedes’ SLS AMG GT3, which won the SP9 class in 2013, Nissan’s GT-R Nismo GT3, Subaru’s WRX STI, and many others. However, Wolfgang Schuhbauer, director for Aston’s permanent Nurburgring Test Centre, believes his company’s rich relationship with the Nurburgring circuit will give them a much-needed edge.
“The DB9, V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage GT, V12 Vantage S, Rapide S and Vanquish have all benefited from development at the Nurburgring,” explains Schuhbauer. “A key part of the sign-off process for all new Aston Martins is a 10,000km durability test on the famous circuit and, since 2006, we have also used the 24-hour race to showcase the reliability and build-quality of our cars.”
The extensive Nurburgring testing has propelled Aston Martin to several major race victories over the years, such as an overall win at the 2013 GTE AM World Endurance Championships, but top honors at the N24 has proved elusive thus far.
Once again, the odds are stacked against the British, but David King, Head of Motorsport at Aston Martin, remains confident that his team can pull it off.
“As usual, we are in the role of ‘David’ to the ‘Goliath’ of the big German brands, but that is a challenge we relish.”
Watch the V12 Vantage GT3 in action below.