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August 28, 2009

Aston Martin Heads to NÜRBURGRING 1000KM

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Aston Martin Racing will enter three Gulf liveried LMP1 challengers in the penultimate round of the Le Mans Series, the ADAC 1000km of Nürburgring on the 23 August 2009.

The ADAC 1000km of Nürburgring was established in 1953 and Aston Martin has a rich history in the race having triumphed at the prestigious endurance classic for three years running in 1957, 1958 and 1959 with the Le Mans winning DBR1.

It is fitting that 50 years on from Aston Martin winning the World Sportscar Championship, the British marque will return with a bolstered effort to aid its chances of securing the Le Mans Series title in 2009. Aston Martin Racing is currently second in the Teams Championship standings, four points behind Pescarolo Sport. Aston Martin Racing will also take three cars to the final round of the season at Silverstone on the 13 September.

“Following on from Le Mans where we entered three cars it will be great to see all of our Aston Martins back on track at the Nürburgring where we will be trying to secure as many points as possible in our championship chase,” said Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell. He adds: “We tested at the Nürburgring in June which should help us with the set-up however, it is clear from the Algarve race that we have serious opposition.”

In addition to running an extra car the team will see several changes to the driver line-up for the two remaining races of the season. The driving squad for Nürburgring will include 007 regulars Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ) and Stefan Mucke (DE).

In the 008 car, Aston Martin Racing welcomes Chris Buncombe (GB) who is new to the team and Stuart Hall (GB) who drove the Aston Martin for the first time at the Le Mans 24 hour race in June. Completing the 008 line-up is Portuguese driver Miguel Ramos who moves over from the 009 crew.

Aston Martin regular Darren Turner (GB) will pilot the 009 LMP1 car together with Swiss driver Harold Primat.

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British driver Chris Buncombe is excited about the prospect of driving for Aston Martin Racing: “It is great to be back in the Le Mans Series again. I previously competed in this championship in 2007 in an LMP2 car so to step up to LMP1 and with such a great car is a fantastic opportunity for me. It is certainly going to be a challenge, jumping straight into a new car with no testing, so the pre-race sessions are going to be really important.”

2009 British Racing Drivers’ Club Superstar, Stuart Hall is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Aston Martin LMP1 car for the second time, “It is fantastic to be back in the Aston Martin after Le Mans. I have competed in the Nürburgring 1000km for the last two years so I know the circuit quite well but it will be great to go back there with a factory team with a great chance of success.”

The three one-hour practice sessions prior to the race will prove invaluable for Buncombe who will drive the car for the first time on Friday at 12:55 and again at 16:55. The third free practice session takes place on Saturday morning at 08:45 prior to a 20 minute qualifying session at 14:05 later the same day.

The Aston Martin LMP1 cars will take the rolling start of the Nürburgring 1000km at 12:30 local time on Sunday 23 August.

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