Second and third in class for the company's two entries in the final VLN endurance race of the season
■Impressive Nürburgring debuts for young English drivers James Appleby and Ant Scragg■Aston Martin Racing works driver Andy Meyrick stars in only his second Nürburgring race■Seventh VLN GT4 class win of the year for customer team, Mathol Racing
The tenth and final round of the gruelling Nürburgring VLN endurance championship − the 36th DMV Münsterlandpokal four hour race − has seen Aston Martin’s Nürburgring Test Centre Team claim second and third in the SP8 class for GT cars over 4.0 litres, to round off a most successful 2011 season.
The number 122 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, driven by British trio Andy Meyrick, James Appleby and Ant Scragg, took a fine second in class and 28th overall finish from a field of 160 starters. Aston Martin Racing factory driver Meyrick had led the class in a fast and consistent opening stint before handing over to Scragg, aged 25 and Appleby, aged just 22, who drove the middle stints with impressive skill and maturity before Meyrick saw the car safely home in a short final stint.
The number 118 V8 Vantage driven by Aston Martin’s Nürburgring Test Centre Director Wolfgang Schuhbauer, experienced Nürburgring pilot Jurgen Stumpf and 2011 newcomer Beat Loretz took a podium finish with third place in the same class.
In the highly competitive SP10 class for GT4 cars, Mathol Racing continued their season-long dominance of the class, with Wolfgang Weber, Norbert Bermes and Rickard Nilsson taking their V8 Vantage to its seventh class win of the year.
Reflecting on the season, Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport, David King said: “Since we first raced a factory-entered V8 Vantage at the Nürburgring in 2006, we have carefully grown our presence at the circuit. Not only have we taken engineering cars from our UK headquarters to race there every year as part of our engineering programme, but we also opened our own permanent test centre (in 2008) and commenced our customer racing programme under the leadership of Wolfgang Schuhbauer in 2009.”
“Now, three years on we have a strong group of regular drivers enjoying the experience of racing with Aston Martin and achieving some great results. Additionally in 2011 we have been able to give Nürburgring debuts to three of our AMR works drivers – Darren Turner, Harold Primat and Andy Meyrick, which maybe hints at our future intentions.”
Wolfgang Schuhbauer added: “I have enjoyed another fantastic season racing our cars together with our customers who have all performed to a very high standard. I am particularly proud that we have seen the first graduate of our seven-stage Driving Academy, Aston Martin customer Joachim Kern, so confidently complete his first two races earlier this year. It just shows that with the right tuition and aptitude, it is possible to go from novice to Nürburgring racer with Aston Martin.”