Sunday 28th May 2017, Nürburgring
Aston Martin Racing [click] won its SP8 class in the 2017 ADAC Nürburgring 24 Hours race despite a last-hour torrential rain storm. The #7 Aston Martin Vantage GT8 led its class for much of the race and even kept up with the more powerful GT3 race cars through the night.
Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner (GB) brought the ‘close-to-production’ Vantage GT8 home in 21st place overall and 1st-in-class by driving the final stint through torrential rain that covered a third of the 20.83km Nordschleife circuit in water.
Rather than coming in to pit and change to wet tyres, the team opted to stay out so as not to risk track position. They had enough of a cushion from their competitors to tip toe around the wet sector and blast away on the dry bits for the last stint.
NEXCEL active oil management system
The almost stock Vantage V8 featured the revolutionary NEXCEL [click] active oil management system and ran flawlessly for 24 hours. NEXCEL was created by Castrol to optimise the volume of oil in the engine’s sump for every driving condition and thus help reduce tailpipe CO2 emissions by allowing engines to warm-up faster.
The NEXCEL oil cell also helps protect the environment by better capturing used oil during oil changes.
The NEXCEL system holds the lubricating oil in an easily-accessible cell, so a complete oil and filter change can be accomplished in just 90 seconds, without a garage lift and without any mess or waste oil to dispose of. The cell, with the oil, can then be returned for re-use. It takes around 84 litres of crude oil to make one gallon of lubricant. The same 84 litres volume of recovered oil can be re‑refined to create around 64 litres of lubricating oil at its original specification.
The winning drivers were reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Nicki Thiim (DN), Darren Turner (GB), Peter Cate (GB) and Nordschliefe regular Markus Lungstrass (G).
Turner said afterwards: “It’s great to have won here at the Nordschleife. You are constantly fighting the circuit and the elements here rather than the competition. This is a hard track, in what is effectively a production car, and to survive that is testament to the build and quality of the Vantage GT8.”
Cate paid tribute to the Vantage GT8 saying: “Having Darren and Nicki in the car has been mega because it has given a whole insight into how you can play with the set-up. When you consider it is effectively a road car with modifications, it is insane that we finished 21st overall.”
David King, President of Aston Martin Racing said, “It was so obvious that we only needed to get around one more lap to see the chequered flag that when the car we were trying to keep ahead of came in to pit we knew there was no way he could catch us, so we stayed out and it worked.
Darren was as cool as a cucumber. To have a completely flawless race, in such challenging conditions is excellent. it was hard and fast and tough, and the car was immaculate. It just ran perfectly. The drivers did a great job. To have four such well matched drivers, two super pros and two guys that really stepped up, I’m so proud for everybody. It means such a lot and I wouldn’t feel anymore proud if we had won the race overall.
This is not a GT3 race car, it has a standard V8 engine, gearbox and electronics, so it is a real tribute to the Vantage that it is still winning classes and races.”
Previous Aston Martin articles on AlphaLuxe
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).