Rose leads Australian Nurburgring 24H tilt
Endurance racer Mal Rose will spearhead a group of Australians to contest this weekend’s gruelling Nurburgring 24 Hour.
Rose has once again landed a drive with the factory Aston Martin squad upon the request of co-driver and the British manufacturer’s former CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.
The 52-year-old former Australian touring car ace will be joined in the Aston Martin N430 V8 Vantage by fellow Australian Peter Leemhuis and Dr Andreas Banziger.
Incredibly this will be Rose’s 12th consecutive appearance at the iconic endurance classic at the infamous 20.8km Nurburgring Nordschleife.
His first came in 2004 when Rose campaigned a Mitsubishi Mirage.
“This will be my 12th consecutive time but I’ve done 13 races there and this will be my fourth time with Aston Martin,” Rose told Speedcafe.com.
“This year is the retirement year of the former Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez, so it is a big deal for Aston Martin.
“Dr Bez has actually requested my driving services because he trusts me as a driver.
“It is quite an honour I can’t believe at my age that the boss at Aston Martin would actually suggest that to David King the Aston Martin motorsport manager.
“I’d rank the event alongside the best GT races in the world.
“I prepared myself years ago for this event by going there in a small car.
“It’s a real challenge but luckily I’m very race fit because I’m in a racing car almost every weekend.
“Everything about the event is unique.”
The Aston Martin factory team has offered a drive to Queenslander Liam Talbot following an impressive showing with the squad during last year’s event.
Talbot has been promoted to the #48 Vantage V12 alongside Florian Kamelger, Peter Cate and Wolfgang Schuhbauer.
Australia will also be represented by Australian GT racer Rod Salmon in a factory backed Audi R8 GT3 competing in the top SP9 class.
The Nurburgring 24 Hour debutant will join Austria’s Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof, Micke Ohlsson and Ronnie Saurenmann in the #14 entry.
Bathurst 12 Hour regular Richard Gartner has landed a seat in the #62 GDL Racing SP7 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry, while the experienced Paul Stubber will race an SP6 class Prosport Performance Porsche Cayman.
New Zealand GT and single seater star Richie Stanaway will be among the contenders for the race outright in one of two all professional works Aston Martin entries alongside British GT driver Jonny Adam and Matthias Lauda.
The crack Phoenix Racing Audi R8 squad of Rene Rast, Christopher Hasse, Markus Winkelhock and Christian Mamerow will return to defend their 2014 crown.