Aston Martin’s factory prepared, production standard, N24 V8 Vantage has achieved an impressive overall eighth place finish in the inaugural 24-hour race of Bahrain, competing in a field consisting of largely motorsport homologated cars.
Greeted at the chequered flag by a jubilant team – a group of volunteers from the company’s engineering and prototype development departments – the N24 Vantage capped a consistent 24-hour performance, finishing eight laps in front of the ninth placed runner.
Having started from fourteenth on the grid the previous afternoon, the Aston Martin team progressed up the race order, firmly establishing a top ten position over night as rain fell on the International Circuit.
As other teams were forced to retire as the 24-hours wore on, the Vantage ran flawlessly throughout. The car only needed fuel and tyres, completing more than 425 laps of the International Circuit – a gruelling distance of over 2600 km.
As development driver Wolfgang Schuhbauer took the chequered flag, an elated Chris Porritt - co-driver and Aston Martin’s Vehicle Engineering Manager - said: “I’m delighted for the team - they’ve been thoroughly professional throughout.
“My last stint finished a couple of hours ago and I’ve been trying not to think about this moment too soon, but now it is here - it’s fantastic.”
Mobbed by team mates as he left the car after taking the flag, Wolfgang Schuhbauer said: “The drivers had fun! It was the team who put in all the work.”
The team’s third co-driver, Horst von Saurma, editor-in-chief of Sport Auto magazine had finished his final stint earlier in the morning, and Chris was quick to praise his fellow drivers; “We’ve had some difficult driving conditions during the course of the race, but Wolfgang and Horst continued to lap very consistently – they’ve adapted superbly.”
Horst added: “Eighth place for a production car – you can’t quite believe it. There were absolutely no problems with the car at all - fantastic.”
Chief Mechanic, Martin Jackson said: “I’m really proud of all the guys – they’ve put the effort in and they deserve this result.”
Team Manager, Dave King commented: “I’m very proud of the whole team. The drivers have been absolutely consistent in treacherous conditions and the supporting team – many of who are not experienced race engineers – have performed superbly throughout the week and the result is fitting testament to their hard work”.
Aston Martin’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez – who for once was unable to take his place in the driving team due to other commitments - followed the race closely and congratulated the team by telephone as the chequered flag fell, saying: “Once again we have proven the durability of a production standard V8 Vantage and the dedication and professionalism of the whole Aston Martin team.”