Aston Martin has been racing in the Nürburgring 24 Hours since 2006, using the event as an intensive product prove-out and also as a means to further develop its road car portfolio. In fact, the British automaker has a permanent test facility located at the ‘Ring. From this base, all of the automaker’s road cars are developed and signed off, including the latest Vantage GT.
Powering the car is a 430-horsepower version of the V8 Vantage’s 4.7-liter V-8, which can either be hooked up with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automated manual with paddle shifters. The 0-60 mph sprint in the Vantage GT takes just 4.6 seconds and top speed is 190 mph.
Aston Martin’s Nürburgring Test Center director Wolfgang Schuhbauer will pilot one of the Vantage GTs in this year’s race. He will be joined by former Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez and Australian racing drivers Mal Rose and Peter Leemhuis. The second Vantage GT will be piloted by British journos Chris Harris and Dickie Meaden, as well as Aston Martin development drivers Oliver Mathai and Andreas Gülden.
2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 race car
Finally, a close-to-production 2015 V12 Vantage S driven by a team from Aston Martin's Nürburgring Test Center will also run in the SP8 class.
“The Nürburgring 24 Hours is one of the most challenging races in the world,” Aston Martin motorsport chief John Gaw said in a statement. “Aston Martin has an exceptional 100 percent 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.”
The 2014 Nürburgring 24 Hours runs from June 21-22.