NEWS: Aston Martin Rapide S Hydrogen Hybrid History @ ADAC Nürburgring 24-Hour
Aston Martin Racing are all set to make history at the 41st Nurburging 24-Hours this weekend – racing their ground-breaking hybrid Hydrogen Aston Martin Rapide S V12 twin turbo, developed in partnership with Hydrogen experts, Alset Global. And they will also be racing in a international championship-winning V12 Vantage GT3 and a close-to-production specification V12 Vantage as well as the record-breaking Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S.
When the HH Rapide S races on Sunday in the N24, Aston Martin’s new four-door, four-seat sports car will become the first hydrogen-powered car to compete in an international event as well as the first zero CO2 emissions sports car to complete a race pace lap at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. The car will compete in an experimental class (E1-XP) having passed rigorous technical and safety assessments by the German motorsport authority the DMSB to be granted approval to race.
It will be able to complete full laps with zero CO2 emissions and will be refuelled after each stint with 3.5kg of hydrogen as well as gasoline.
Working in partnership with hydrogen experts Alset Global, Aston Martin’s engineers have developed a prototype twin turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 engine that powers the incredible Nürburgring car.
Capable of running on pure gasoline, pure gaseous hydrogen, or a blend of both, the Hybrid Hydrogen race car showcases Aston Martin’s commitment to engineering innovation. In pure hydrogen mode the car emits virtually only water from the exhaust.
The Hybrid Hydrogen system comprises a hydrogen fuel rail, storage tanks and proprietary engine management system. Safety is paramount and the system includes four ultra-high strength carbon fibre tanks holding a total of 3.5kg of hydrogen stored at a pressure of 350bar.
And we have been invited to follow all three Aston Martins at the world's greatest race! Happy days! We will be bringing you the amazing Aston's story home from the Eifel in a forthcoming special of Road Magazine, also featuring many cool cars from the 2013 N24.
The Aston Martin Rapide S – with technology developed with Alset Global – has already set a record as the world's first hydrogen-fuelled zero CO2 emission lap of the 24 km Nordschleife. The lap was completed on Saturday 27th April with Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez at the wheel of the prototype Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S. That was a perfect test run ahead of a formal record-breaking attempt at the ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring (N24).
Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, will be one of four drivers behind the wheel of the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S in the 24-hour race. He said: "The prospect of making history at the Nürburgring 24 Hours with the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S in this, our centenary year, is a great thing for Aston Martin. Alongside our partners Alset Global, we have worked incredibly hard to prove out this exciting engineering and I’m looking forward to taking the wheel of the race car at the Nürburgring on Sunday.
"I am incredibly proud of the Aston Martin team, and our partners Alset Global. We have written a little motorsport history with this qualifying lap as well as finishing the four-hour race on hydrogen and, of course, it bodes extremely well for our participation in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in three weeks’ time.
"To have run full laps on hydrogen gas alone during the four-hour event is an exceptional ‘first’, and I now hope that we can stabilise the system and further improve the Rapide S so we can complete the 24-hour race on May 19 with many zero emission laps."
The Aston Martin Racing team are aiming for numerous zero emission laps – in addition for their P1 class aims for their outstanding GT3 petrol V12 beast (pictured below) and a V12 Vantage which is as close to production specification as possible.
The third car in the line up is a V12 Vantage in close-to-production specification, modified to satisfy the N24 regulations. David King, Director of Special Projects and Motorsport at Aston Martin, explains: “It’s important to us that we don’t only show what we can do with pioneering technologies and race car development, but that we showcase the ability that our road cars have to deal with the demanding and gruelling challenges that the Nordschleife can create.”
To make life even more special for Aston Martin fans, leading up to the main event the Aston Martin Centenary Parade – a lap of the Nordschleife with 100 VIP and customer cars – will take place to celebrate 100 years of Aston Martin and to offer customers the chance to share in the Nürburgring experience that is so close to the brand.
Aston Martin will compete in the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours on May 19-20 for the eighth successive year with the goal of maintaining its 100% finishing record. More than 200 cars will start the 24-hour race, which runs on the daunting 22 km circuit that combines the legendary Nordschleife with the modern Grand Prix track.
Bravo to Aston Martin & Alset Global. Can't wait to witness history with you firsthand this weekend...
See more images of the cars here on Facebook.