Nürburgring 24 Hours Racing
Nürburgring 24 Hours Racing 2009
In Europe, spring is the season for the glorious Chelsea Flower show in London, as well as for 'the Quiet Duel' of car racers in the woods of the mid-western German town, Nürburg. From 21st to 24th of May, the 37th "Nürburgring 24 Hour Race" was held at a driving track 25.378 km around, demanding corners and up-down. Because of its toughness, getting a good rap time at this course is the focus of world attention to be important for leading automakers to test and showcase the performance of their flagship cars.
Aston Martin entered two factory cars on the market; they were slightly modified for competition, a new model standing for 'V12 Vantage', together with 'N24V8 Vantage', winning the championship last year. The CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez took part in driving both cars, which was supposed to be served as a test driving of the stock cars, and the V12 Vantage saw a stunning victory in the SP8 class without any major problem during the 24 hours.
On the other hand, the N24V8 Vantage had a rear left tire burst in the center of the track around 5:00 a.m. Amid the rising tension in the pit, a Japanese driver, Shin-ichi Katsura got it back to the pit on his level judgment without giving much damage to the car, which led to the remarkable success of a second place in the SP10 class.
The race started at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, 22nd of May, and ended at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, 23rd of May. From the beginning to the end of the race, all the drivers and pit crews, as well as the cars, showed professionalism calmly as a team, each committed to their missions assigned individually. The 24 hour experience in the German track impressed me with excellence of 'humans and cars combined' against this digital society making anything look easy to obtain results. I felt proud of "Immun'Age", which has been loved by such professionals of Aston Martin.
After receiving a warm welcome of thunder, we headed for Nürburgring by Aston Martin LEXUS which is not available in Japan.
|V12 Vantage The 007
Make up before the race
From England and Germany
|N24V8 Vantage The 008|
From Germany and Japan
|With Mr. HORST, one of N24V8 Drivers|
|V12 with stock car engine||The roll cage protects drivers safely.|
|Visiting LEXUS LF-A which shares the same pit
The engine sounds good, and the body looks good!
Then, how was the result?
|Site meeting with all the drivers just before the race|
|Meeting regarding radio communication with N24V8 crews:Mr. KATSURA, HORST and WOLFGANG||Cute looking helmet with Immun' Âge logos|
|The moment staring off on the circuit||Dr. Bez knocked Mr.Katsura over with his cool fashion!|
|V12 Vantage is ready to go!!||Smooth tires change of V12 Vantage|
|All the pit crews are from the Aston Martin Factory.
Changing tires and refueling with unwasted motion
|Discussion with Mr. David King, Aston Martin's Head of Motorsport|
|Tasting party of Immun' Âge||With Mr. Morizo from Toyota-city, such a friendly man.|
|Still a lot to go...wishing a safe drive for all||rumbling engine sound of Aston Martin in the silent woods at night|
|Drivers bear more psychological burdens at night.||The Nürburgring circuit at night|
|Dawn of the second day
There was an accident right after this.
|Radio communication from the 008
"M'aider! M'aider! Tire-burst! "
Would the car be able to get back to the pit!?
The car could get back to the pit only with a wheel.
|The crews make one final push with Immun'Âge toward the goal!|
|Making the car clean and beautiful just before the goal||Finally having a moment of the goal!
But, British people seem rather modest to express their joy.
|With the team manager and drivers||"Thank you! David King"|
|"Congratulations! Dr.Betz"||Crystal trophies for the first and second places|
|The O-77 exhibited at the Aston Martin Technical Center at the Nürburgring
It is so cool and looks like it came straight off of a digital design.
Incidentally, the race ID number of my wife was "O-77".
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