WOLFSBURG : June 21, 2011 - The most spectacular Golf for the most extreme race: Volkswagen will contest the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring next weekend (23–26 June) with three 450-hp Golf24 cars.
Flat out around the clock, more than 200 competitors, rapidly changing weather conditions, strategy chess and all this on the world's most difficult race track – the Golf24 has been built for exactly this enormous challenge. Fitting the 35th anniversary of the Golf GTI, Volkswagen Motorsport has developed a thorough-bred racing version of the world's highest-volume production car.
"The 35th birthday of the GTI was an occasion for us to put a special Golf on its wheels for its fans – and the 24-hour race that attracts more than 250,000 visitors is the best place for a birthday party,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "But first of all we've got to master a tough task, and that is to run 24 hours at rough racing speed. The development time for a brand new racing car like the Golf24 was extremely short and we had to settle for a relatively brief testing programme. Nevertheless, our team managed to get three perfectly prepared Golf cars off the ground in time – a brilliant achievement from design through to preparation. Another challenge is the extremely high competitiveness of the field which is stronger than ever before. The entire Volkswagen team is highly motivated and will give everything to achieve our aim: Firstly, we want to cover the whole distance without any major problem – and then we've got good chances of a result in the top ten.”
Powered by a 450-hp 2.5-litre five cylinder turbo engine, the Golf24 is equipped with four-wheel drive, a sequential 6-speed gearbox with paddle shifters and, last but not least, a spectacular body shell. High-calibre racers will be taking turns at the wheel of three factory-fielded cars – they range from seasoned Nordschleife drivers like Peter Terting and Patrick Simon, Formula 1 legends like Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell through to the Volkswagen junior René Rast and the DTM rookie Edoardo Mortara.
With green power: three "Dakar” winners on the grid together for the first time
Nasser Al-Attiyah, Carlos Sainz, Giniel de Villiers – these are the names that have dominated the Dakar Rally in the past three years and made three consecutive Volkswagen victories possible. They will use the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife for a joint circuit visit. The three Dakar Champions from 2009, 2010 and 2011 will compete together for the first time and share a 330-hp Scirocco GT24-CNG. Their team-mates will also be direct rivals for victory in the class for vehicles with alternative power-trains. Le Mans racer Vanina Ickx and the journalists Peter Wyss and Bernd Ostmann will be driving the "sister” car. Both Scirocco vehicles are powered by bio natural gas and compared with conventional spark ignition engines allow CO2 emissions to be reduced by 80 per cent. The fourth driver of both cars will be the former DTM racer Klaus Niedzwiedz, who has already won the 24-hour race twice.
Images : 2011 Volkswagen Golf24