Volkswagen tees up crazy Golf for 2011 Nürburgring 24-hour
Volkswagen has announced that it is to return to the demanding Nürburgring 24-hour race in 2011 with an all-new challenger - the Golf24.
Equipped with four-wheel drive and developing 440 PS, the dramatic racing version of Volkswagen's best-selling model has already undergone initial testing ahead of the legendary 24-hour race, regarded as one of the toughest tests in the motorsport calendar, which this year takes place from 23 to 26 June.
The Golf24 is fitted with a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 440 PS and maximum torque of 540 Nm. Power is transmitted to the permanent four-wheel drive by a sequential six-speed gearbox with paddle shift operation.
Volkswagen's last factory fielding of the Golf on the famous roller-coaster circuit of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife dates back to 2007, at which time the 300 PS front-wheel drive vehicle that delivered about 300 hp finished in eighth place overall, ahead of numerous favourites. Successive class victories for the Scirocco GT24 over the past three years have followed but the competitiveness of the event has increased enormously meaning a new technical concept was required.
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen explains: 'With the new Golf24 we are continuing our successful commitment at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. The event enjoys huge popularity, is one of the true classics in motorsport and, due to its extreme distance and unique race track, also represents a very big technical challenge, With our spectacular Golf we want to provide an additional highlight in front of a large audience - right in time for the 35th anniversary of the GTI this year.'
Source - Volkswagen
Before lining up on the grid of the gruelling 25 km circuit in June, the Golf24 will undergo an extensive testing and development programme. This began at the end of last year at Portugal's Portimão circuit and further tests have been completed at Vallelunga in Italy. The Golf24 will also compete in three races in the Endurance Championship on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
The most spectacular Golf will line up for the most extreme race as Volkswagen prepares to contest the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring this 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.
With green power: three Dakar winners on the grid together for the first time
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.
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 reduce CO2 emissions by 80 per cent compared with conventional petrol engines. The fourth driver of both cars will be the former DTM racer Klaus Niedzwiedz, who has already won the 24-hour race twice.
The Volkswagen driver line-up for the 2011 Nürburgring 24-hour race will be as follows:
#35 – Golf24 – white / red
Peter Terting (D) / Nicki Thiim (DK) / Franck Mailleux (F) / René Rast (D)
Engine : 2.5 L., 5-cylinder
Power: 434 hp
Torque: 398 ft-lbs
#135 – Golf24 – white / blue
Thomas Mutsch (D) / Fredrik Ekblom (S) / Patrick Simon (D) / Edoardo Mortara (I)
#235 – Golf24 – white / yellow
Johnny Herbert (GB) / Patrick Bernhardt(D) / Mark Blundell (GB) / René Rast (D)
#116 – Scirocco GT24-CNG – blue / silver
Dr Úlrich Hackenberg (D) / Vanina Ickx (B) / Peter Wyss (CH) / Bernd Ostmann (D)
#117 – Scirocco GT24-CNG – blue / orange
Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) / Carlos Sainz (E) / Giniel de Villiers (ZA) / Klaus Niedzwiedz (D)Source - Volkswagen