Subaru claimed an impressive class win at the infamous 24 Hour Nürburgring race last weekend, setting a blistering pace and achieving unbeatable levels of reliability during what is arguably the world’s toughest motor race.
The All-Wheel-Drive WRX STI tS, prepared by Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the firm’s in-house motorsport division, completed 142 laps (approx 3,603km) in 24 hours - 76km further than the car covered in the keenly-fought 2010 race. The WRX STI tS finished first in the SP3T class for sub-2.0-litre turbocharged vehicles, ahead of some notable race-proven machinery, including Team Raeder Mortorsport’s Audi TT S, Kissling Motorsport’s Opel Astra GTC and Michael Kraus’ Mitsubishi Lancer CTO.
Starting at 16.00hrs (local time) on Saturday 25 June in wet conditions, the car was driven around the famous race circuit by Toshihiro Yoshida, who has taken part in the Nürburgring 24-Hour race every year since 2008, and Kouta Sasaki, who competes in Japan’s Super GT series with a Subaru Legacy. Dutchman Carlo van Dam and Germany’s Marcel Engels completed the four-man team. Engels and van Dam both joined the Subaru team last year.
The Nürburgring 24-Hour is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most demanding races, combining both the Grand Prix circuit and the legendary Nordschleife course. One lap of the race is over 25km in length, with 170 corners and a 300m difference in elevation for drivers to contend with. The gruelling event attracted more than 210 entrants this year, including some of the best European touring cars.
Hideharu Tatsumi, General Manager of STI’s Vehicle Experiment Department and Team Manager for the 24-hour race, said: “As always, taking part in this race presents an enormous challenge, and our team has put in a mammoth effort to fight against some of the world’s best cars. In our third year of racing in the SP3T class, it’s clear that we have come a long way. Our success in 2011 stands as testament to the fundamental capability of the WRX STI, and that STI’s direction in creating cars is not wrong,” Tatsumi continued.
Based on the standard Subaru WRX STI, the tS competition vehicle has been developed with a focus on weight-saving, improved aerodynamics and performance upgrades on its EJ20 turbo engine. The Nürburgring 24-Hour racer retained the standard model’s permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, a setup that delivers unrivalled balance, stability and handling.
The WRX STI is currently available from all Subaru dealers from £32,995, with free satellite navigation and engine upgrade, taking the power output to 320PS. For more information please visit www.subaru.co.uk.
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