Held just a week before another well known 24 hour race in France, the annual all-day marathon at the world’s most demanding circuit will be run this weekend, and Classic Driver contributor and ‘Ring expert Ulrich Schoedel will be co-driving one of the factory Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24.
Schoedel’s regular car, the Team Classic Driver diesel Alfa Romeo 147, will be entered by his brother Christian.
For those unfamiliar with the race, now in its 35th running, it is an event that has an entry of over 200 cars, and may feature as many as 800 drivers, some sharing different vehicles. The racing cars themselves are a mixture of GTs and saloons with manufacturer involvement that varies from year to year, but this time will feature official entries from Aston Martin (the N24 cars) and Volkswagen, who will be running two 300 HP petrol Golf GTis.
Over the years the looser regulations of the race (originally launched as a cheaper alternative to the 1000 km) have meant a plethora of unique, specialised machines from BMW and Porsche in particular, while Aston Martin and Maserati joined in the fun last year, with the British company successfully debuting a racing version of its V8 Vantage, titled N24 in honour of its 24th overall out of 220 starters finish in 2006.
Past winners come from the very top drawer of European motor racing and include the inaugural 1970 pairing of Stuck / Schickentanz (BMW 2002 TI), as well as Niki Lauda (1973 BMW 3.3 CSL), Klaus Ludwig (1982, 1987) and Pedro Lamy with an unbelievable record of four wins (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005).
Aston Martin has entered two N24s (there’s also a privateer too), the green car – “Kermit” – has the new Sportshift transmission and will be driven the company’s Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez, paired with Chris Porritt, Wolfgang Schuhbauer and Editor-in-Chief of Sport Auto magazine, Horst von Saurma.
The yellow, ‘stick shift’, car will be piloted by ex-Porsche Supercup race winner Oliver Mathai, occasional GT1 racer Stephan Lemeret, journalist Richard Meaden, and Classic Driver’s own ‘Nordschleife expert’ Ulrich Schoedel. The latter car was entered in a ‘warm-up’ 4-hour VLN series race on the classic Nordschleife circuit on Saturday 26th May, finishing an impressive 28th place in a field of 200 starters.
The race will start at 15.00 CET on Saturday 9th June.
You can follow all the action via a TCD LIVE TICKER! that will give you minute-by-minute results from 15.00 CET on Saturday 9the June.
For a full starting list please click here. For further information on the event please click here: www.24h-rennen.de.
Text - Classic Driver
Photos - ADAC/Classic Driver/Aston Martin - All Strictly Copyright
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