Aston Martin Enters Rapide into the Nurburgring 24 Hour Race

To underline the sporting pedigree of its latest model, Aston Martin released today photos and information of the race-spec version of the Rapide. The car will meet the racetrack during the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring, on May 15-16, 2010.

One of the drivers of the Rapide will be Aston Martin's CEO, Ulrich Bez, who is a traditional competitor at the Nordschleife as a gentleman racer. The modifications of the car are not extensive: it has only been prepared for racing, not upgraded. The engine is the same, the interior has been fitted with racing seats, rollcage and fire extinguishers and the suspension has been retuned. Of course, the Rapide will roll on slick tires.

But why enter a 4-door saloon in one of the hardest 24-hour races in the world? "This race represents the ultimate final engineering durability test for any sports car – it subjects the car to the toughest possible assessment under public scrutiny", answers Ulrich Bez himself, quoted by Car Magazine.

"The Rapide has the capability to carry four people in comfort but first and foremost it is a sports car and we will subject it to the same tests we would our other sportscars", added Aston Martin's CEO.

But the Rapide won't be the only model the company will enter in the Nurburgring race. The real competitor will be a V12 Vantage, the same car that won its class at the 2009 event and finished 21st overall. So the Rapide entry is very much a publicity stunt. But a needed one, as the first unit will be delivered to its customer in late April this year.
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