The FINANCIAL — Nürburgring, 26 June 2011 – Aston Martin’s trio of factory-backed entries have emerged from a challenging night to return to smooth running in the Nürburgring 24 hour race as proceedings enter the final hours.
After accumulating almost 300 laps of the 26km circuit between them, Aston Martin’s V12 Zagato entries are 5th (‘Zag’) and 7th (‘Zig’) in the SP8 class while the V8 Vantage N24 occupies 6th place in SP10, but all three cars have suffered bouts of misfortune through the night and early morning.
After challenging for a class lead and a top 20 overall position, #5 V12 Zagato (green livery) was struck by a car exiting the pit lane in the early hours. Resulting damage was more extensive than first thought and necessitated a series of pit stops to make a succession of repairs as the ferocity of the earlier incident became clear. Meanwhile the sister #3 V12 Zagato (red livery) needed a gearbox change which the team fitted in record time.
A further bout of bad luck then struck the V8 Vantage N24 which was involved in an accident on the circuit. A calmly executed track-side repair to a steering arm saw the car return to action earlier this morning.
Meanwhile Aston Martin privateer entries continue to make solid progress with Mathol Racing’s V8 Vantage a particular highlight, leading SP10 GT4. Team Pflanz are currently 9th in the same class. Joining the Aston Martin factory entries in SP8, Bratke Motorsport’s Vantage GT4 lies 6th.
Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport, David King commented on the issues with ‘Zig’: “It clearly demonstrates how one small issue beyond our control at half past two in the morning, when we were hit by another car, has caused a cascade of problems that has meant we have been regularly in and out of the pits.
“It resulted in a damaged steering arm, sheered engine mounts and most recently a cracked power steering fluid reservoir. All-in-all it is frustrating to say the least. However, as was our objective the car is still running, with all our other entrants, and it is a tribute to the technicians who have kept it going, working on a roasting hot car, and coming up with clever solutions quickly.”