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Aston Martin’s Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S to make UK competition debut

16th August 2013 Print
Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S

The first car to complete a zero- CO2 emissions lap of an FIA-sanctioned race − Aston Martin’s revolutionary Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S − will make its UK competition debut this weekend (17/18 August) when it enters the historic Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in Worcestershire.
The car, which achieved a world-first when it qualified for the 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours running on pure hydrogen,is based on an Aston Martin Rapide S but features a special bi-fuel hydrogen/petrol twin turbo 6.0-litre V12 engine developed by the brand in conjunction with Austrian hydrogen internal combustion engine specialists Alset GmbH.
David King, Head of Special Projects at Aston Martin comments: “We successfully raced the car at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in May, covering more than 20% of the race distance running only on hydrogen. Our CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, a regular competitor at the race since 2006, actually completed more than 40 CO2 emissions-free kilometres at full racing speed on one fill of hydrogen alone, comfortably exceeding our target. To finish a gruelling 24-hour race like that was real testament to the engineering teams at Aston Martin and Alset who developed the car. 
“Since then, the car has made a brief appearance in our centenary parade lap at Le Mans in June, but has never been seen in action in the UK until now. Running the car up the hill at Shelsley Walsh seems the most fitting way to show it off, recognising the company’s long association with the venue and fitting in nicely with the wonderful Aston Martin tribute being held at the event.
“Although we can’t run the car on Hydrogen at the hill climb, it is still sure to be quite a sight and sound as it leaves the start line.”
Also set to wow the crowds will be the 2009 Lola Aston Martin DBR1/2, which will complete a parade run at lunchtime each day following the timeline parade of Aston Martins organised by the Aston Martin Owners Club.
The 30-car timeline parade will include the famous DB4 GT Zagato ‘1 VEV’, LM10, and a variety of different models from throughout the years right up to the latest cars from Stratstone Aston Martin, which will be displayed at the cottage overlooking the start line.
From the parade, the LM10 that competed at Le Mans and at Shelsley Walsh in the 1930s, the DB2 ‘VMF65’ from Le Mans, the current British GT Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 from Complete Racing, and a further GT4 from Generation AMR will complete demonstration runs up the hill.
On static display in the Courtyard will be the Nimrod Aston Martin, AMR1, the DBR9 GT1 and the current GTE World Endurance Championship racer. The paddock will be home to a competition class including the 1951 DB2 that George Abecassis raced at Shelsley Walsh after he had raced at Le Mans that same year. This will be the first time the car has taken to the hill in 51 years.
Shelsely Walsh Hill Climb opens at 9am on both Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August and tickets are available on the gate. For further information, visit

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Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S