Aston’s Rapide goes racing
To certify its performance credentials, Aston Martin will be entering a near stock Rapide to contest the Nürburgring 24 hour race next weekend.
Aston Martin has an irrefutable presence at the hallowed racetrack which doubles as the world’s de facto measurement of performance car ability.
The British manufacturer has an extensive garage and hosting facility at the Nürburgring. Its German boss, Dr Ulrich Bez, is dead keen to see Astons competing (and winning) at the ‘Ring year after year – and he isn’t shy to do a stint behind the wheel to ensure the job gets done properly.
Racing stock Astons - and winning
For the past two years Aston has won the SP8 category at the Nürburgring 24 hour race. Last year a V12 Vantage even managed to place 21st overall (clinching a class win – obviously) and outpacing a bevy of dedicated race machines.
Aston has a penchant for pitching up at Nürburgring to race cars which you could have registered for road use yourself.
The Rapide set to contest the Nürburgring race will boast scant modifications – racing tyres (obviously), interior safety equipment (mandatory) and some camber and castor adjustment, perhaps even some damper resetting. It’s akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight – yet Aston appear to have some expert knife fighters on their team, as they have yet to embarrass themselves at the Nürburgring.
As usual Bez will lead the Aston team, doing his stints behind the Rapide's steering wheel. The other drivers are yet to be announced, yet an engineer (euphemism for ‘test driver’, we’re sure) from Gaydon and a professional racer should make up the remainder of the team. The new V12 powered Vantage will also be on the grid.
The Nürburgring 24 hour, set to run from 15-16 April, is being keenly anticipated this year due to the return of driving legend Walter Röhrl.