Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez will take the wheel of the new V12 Vantage at the upcoming Nürburgring 24-hour race. The car is said to be pretty stock, bar a few minor changes.

Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez may sound like a mere suit to some but the passion of his brand gushes through his veins. On May 23 at the 37th ADAC Nürburgring 24-hour race the good doctor will line up against rivals for the fourth time in a row to compete in the new V12 Vantage. The race is seen by Aston Martin as the final engineering durability test for the V12 Vantage programme.

The upcoming standard car has a 6.0-litre V12 engine that produces 510bhp (380kW) and 570Nm (420 lb ft) of torque. Its 0 - 62mph time is 4.2 seconds and the top speed is 190mph (305km/h). The competing car uses this very same engine with no modifications.

The only changes that were made were minimal and were done in order to keep a high safety standard, to reduce weight and improve handling (suspension). The standard car already features carbon fibre components. Pirelli provided the specially selected P Zero Circuit Racing slick tyres.

"We already have a proven track record at the Nürburgring racing our road cars with limited modification," said Dr Bez, "and in 2009 we also celebrate our 50-year anniversary of winning the ADAC Nürburgring 1000 km with a DBR1."

More races are scheduled for Aston Martin. The next big one after Nürburgring is the 24-Hours of Le Mans starting on 13 June. It was reported that the British brand may also be preparing to go into Formula One as early as in 2010.

Aston Martin dealers will begin selling the production units of the new V12 Vantage in July at a price of £135,000 (US$197,200). A total of only 1,000 examples will ever be made during the car's production lifetime.