• 01.05.2009

First race: Aston Martin V12 Vantage – Follow us live on Twitter

It would be pretty satisfying for any driver to get behind the wheel of the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage, but we’ve gone one step further and will be racing one in this weekend’s 4-hour VLN race at the Nürburgring.

Richard Meaden dons his race-suit for the second time this season and joins Aston CEO Dr Ulrich Bez and Chris Porritt, Aston’s Vehicle Engineering Manager, as they put the new V12 Vantage through the rigours of a close-quarters 4 hour race.

The V12 Vantage race car will be close to production standard with only essential safety modifications, reduced weight, a re-tuned suspension and Pirelli P Zero slick tyres.

“This is the final engineering durability test for the V12 Vantage programme. We will be subjecting the car to the toughest assessment yet under public scrutiny as we successfully did with the Vantage N24 programme”, said Dr Bez. So, no pressure then. But Dickie has been an Aston regular, competing with the factory team in both previous V8 Vantage racers (‘Rose’ and ‘Kermit’), so is no stranger to either the car or circuit.

This weekend’s race is a test session as the team prepare for the 37th ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour race that will take place on 23/24 May 2009, so we wish Dickie the best of luck and look forward to hearing his reports.

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Day 1: Practice

“At ‘Ring for VLN. Most big teams trating this as dress final test before 24 hour race. Great atmosphere” – RM

“Our old mates RJN are here with their new car” – RM

“There’s a dozen reasons why this year’s race is going to be quite special…” – RM

“Practice done. V12 an awesome machine. Even flattens Nordschleife’s gradients. Tomorrow’s race is going to be fun! ” – RM

Day 2: Race Day

“Misty morning at Nurburg, but sun should burn through. VLN quali starts in one hour.” – RM

“Aston’s Chris Porrit out first in quali, then me! We’ll get one flying lap each so the pressure’s on!” – RM

“Ah the joys of VLN qualifying. Pitlane opens in 5 mins. Just the 220 cars running. Let chaos commence…” – RM

“V12 on grid. Qualified in 37th place on a 9min04sec in the hands of Oliver Mathai. Porritt to start, then me” – RM

“Not with dickie, getting in the spirit with collection of ‘Ring plastic cups! Dickie, make sure you’re re quickest! ” – Neil Carey