Aston Martin are busy preparing their prototype sports car, the Aston Martin Zagato V12, for one of the toughest races in the world, the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
The Zagato V12 was first unveiled at the Concorso D’Eleganza at Villa D’Este in May 2011, where it won the “Design award for Concepts and Prototypes”.
Aston Martin are keen to prove that the car isn’t just a pretty face and there is no better – or more challenging – way to do so than by entering into the German endurance race, held this weekend on the 25th and 26th of June, 2011.
The red show car, nicknamed ‘Zag’, has been given the number ‘3’ and will be driven by Dr. Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO, the company’s Nürburgring Test Centre Director, Wolfgang Schuhbauer and motoring journalists Horst von Saurma and Matthew Marsh.
A further green Zagato, ‘Zig’, is number 5 and will be driven by One-77 Chief Engineer Chris Porritt, sports car racer Oliver Mathai, motoring journalist Richard Meaden and amateur racer Peter Cate.
Aston Martin’s Zagato entry is the sixth successive time that the car manufacturer has completed a new product test under public scrutiny at Nürburgring but to test a prototype in this way is almost unprecedented and is a demonstration of the faith that Aston Martin have in its reliability.
Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport, David King said:
“Our entries this year extend our Nürburgring racing philosophy. For five years now we have signed-off our new products by entering a car which is as close to the road car as possible and subjecting it to the toughest 24 hour test on what best simulates the extremities of public roads. This year we go a step further by testing a car at prototype stage.”
As part of Aston Martin’s support for the Tsunami victims of Japan the rooves of both Zagatos will sport a ‘Heart for Japan’ dedication. Dr. Bez has already auctioned his company Rapide, raising £100,000 ($159,000, €117,400) for the charity and he will present his cheque to Akio Toyoda , CEO of Toyota to add to their Donation Fund for Employees in the Affected Disaster Area before the race.
The Zagatos will be joined by a V8 Vantage GT4 which will be driven by Aston Martin Racing works driver, Darren Turner, journalist Shinichi Katsura, Australian racing driver Rob Thomson and Nürburgring pilot Jurgen Stumpf.
The three official works entries will be supplemented with a private Aston Martin presence in the form of three privately entered V8 Vantages run as Mathol Racing (#62), Bratke Motorsport Team – AVIA (#85) and Team Pflanz (#75) all driving Vantage GT4s in the SP10 class.
The 39th ADAC Nürburgring 24 Hour race starts at 4pm CET on Saturday 25th June 2011.