In preparation for its official record-breaking attempt at the ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring (N24) race next month, Aston Martin secured its place in the history books with the first world first lap of the infamous 24km Nordschleife circuit in a hydrogen-fuelled zero emission car.
The lap was completed by Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, an accomplished racer himself, in a prototype Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S. Aston Martin had entered the car in a 4-hour ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup VLN series race at the circuit. It was a good opportunity to test the car ahead of the 24-hour race next month.
Dr Bez said: "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 stabilize the system and further improve the Rapide S so we can complete the 24-hour race with many zero emission laps."
When it competes at N24, the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S will become the first hydrogen-powered car to compete in an international event, as well as the first zero emissions sports car to complete a lap in the Nürburgring 24-hour at race pace.
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 refueled after each stint with 3.5kg of hydrogen as well as gasoline.
Capable of running on pure gasoline, pure gaseous hydrogen, or a blend of both, the Hybrid Hydrogen racecar showcases Aston Martin's commitment to engineering innovation. In pure hydrogen mode the car emits 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 high-strength carbon fiber tanks holding a total of 3.5kg of hydrogen stored at 350bar.
Aston Martin will compete in the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours on May 19-20 for the eighth successive year.