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Aston Martin V12 Zagato (2011) makes its racing debut

By Mark Hamilton

First Official Pictures

31 May 2011 13:30

Aston Martin only unveiled its V12 Zagato limited edition coupe one week ago, but has already put the racing version into action, at the latest round of the ADAC VLN series at the Nurburgring. It was the first chance the public have had to see the Aston Martin V12 Zagato since it was revealed at the 2011 Villa d'Este Concours.

Why choose the Nurburgring for the Aston Martin V12 Zagato's race debut?

Starting with what is generally regarded as the world's toughest circuit may seem counterproductive. But Aston Martin maintains its test centre at the Nurgurgring, and the V12 Zagato is based on the existing V12 Vantage chassis. Remember that Aston is planning to race two V12 Zagatos as part of its works team at the 2011 Nurburgring 24hr race later in June, and the tough location makes perfect sense.

How did the Aston Martin V12 Zagato fare in its first race?

Aston Martin had low expectations for the box-fresh car, planning to use the four-hour endurance race to test suspension set-up and allow the team to gather on-track data for further development work between now and the 24hr race.

Unfortunately, the V12 Zagato expired after 5 laps of the unforgiving circuit, succumbing to a variety of teething issues. But Aston Martin Racing was happy with the initial effort, given the newness of the car.

It was left to Aston Martin's existing V8 and V12 Vantage racing cars to push for victory. The team's V12 Vantage suffered crash damage in the first lap and was forced to retire, but a V8 Vantage came second in the SP8 class. Overall victory on the day went to Porsche, scoring a win for its 911 GT3 R Hybrid racer.

>>Like the look of the Aston Zagato racer, or is it a big-gobbed GTR pastiche? Let us know in the comments section