There’s a pretty easy way to ensure a class win at the Nürburgring 24 hour race and Volkswagen have it all worked out. There were four cars entered in the Alternative Fuels class this year, three of them were Volkswagen Sciroccos fuelled by bio natural gas.
However, to dismiss their efforts on that basis would be foolish. The #117 Scirocco crossed the line in 16th position outright, which is a very respectable effort. Indeed all three GT24-CNG cars finished the race without any mechanical issues to speak of. Ensuring a mechanically sound record remains intact for the three years the Scirocco has been racing in the 24 hour.
More from Volkswagen, including 30 images, after the break.
ONE-TWO THREE FINISH FOR VOLKSWAGEN SCIROCCO WITH BIO NATURAL GAS
Wolfsburg (16 May 2010). With production-based and, at the same time, innovative technology mastered the world’s hardest circuit race: In front of 220,000 spectators Volkswagen clinched a one-two-three podium lockout in the class for cars with alternative power in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. With an excellent 16th place overall Vanina Ickx (Belgium), factory driver Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar), Dieter Depping (Germany) and Klaus Niedzwiedz (Germany) celebrated class victory in front of the two sister cars. The three Bio Natural Gas powered sport coupés completed the race, dominated by many retirements, with their customary reliability. Volkswagen fields the Scirocco in the marathon since 2008 – without a single mechanically related retirement.
Green through the “green hell”: 100 per cent reliability with 80 per cent less CO2
Thanks to its class victory with the powerful 330 hp Scirocco GT24-CNG with its green heart Volkswagen also celebrated winning the FIA Alternative Energy Cup, which was awarded for the first time after the motorsport marathon in the Eifel. In 2009 Volkswagen took a one-two in the class for cars with alternative power. For the first time in 2010 in the “green hell” the Wolfsburg based automobile brand used combustion engines powered by Bio Natural Gas, which allow up to an 80 per cent overall reduction of CO2 emissions. Bio Natural Gas is extracted from biomass as well as regenerative raw materials and is climate neutral in its manufacture.
Production based technology proves itself in the greatest circuit racing challenge
Volkswagen relies on production-based technology for many of the vehicle components used during the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Among other components, the popular six-speed double clutch gearbox DSG as well as the unchanged electro-mechanical steering, which perform thier duties day for day in the many street cars produced by the Volkswagen Group. The three teams could rely on the excellent reliability of thier Volkswagen down to the last metre in the world’s toughest circuit race.
Scirocco GT24-CNG fastest front-wheel drive car
It was not only the reliability of the Volkswagen Scirocco GT24-CNG that was a benefit – also its speed. The sports coupé powered by a two-litre turbo engine also completed the fastest race lap for a front-wheel drive car with a time of 9m 04.710s – the record time was set by Nicki Thiim in the “Junior” car. However, the team Jimmy Johansson (Sweden), Peter Terting (Kempten), Florian Gruber (Aham), Nicki Thiim (Denmark) were prevented from claiming a better overall result due to a bout of bad luck: After being an innocent victim in an accident the Scirocco’s rear axle had to be changed and the wheel alignment re-set, two damaged driveshafts cost additional valuable time. With the consistency of a clock the team of Ickx/Al Attiyah/Niedzwiedz/Depping jumped into the breach in the fight for an excellent position that ended with 16th position from approximately 200 starters – and ahead of many considerably more powerful sportscars as a result. The Juniors reached the finish in 51st place overall. The Scirocco driven by Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen with responsibility for Technical Development, the Head of Volkswagen Suspension Development Prof. Dr. Stefan Gies and also the journalists Bernd Ostmann (Stuttgart) and Peter Wyss (Switzerland) took 72nd position.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“Three years with the Scirocco, three class victories in succession. Volkswagen has once again proven its reliability and efficiency. I’m incredibly proud and happy for the entire team, especially as the 24-hour race was such a huge challenge this year. We won the class with Bio Natural Gas, which is the most environmentally friendly fuel, and taken good positions in the overall classification. We also showed what distinguishes the Scirocco: to be solid, fast and sporty.”
#116 – Scirocco GT24-CNG – silver branding – 3rd place Class AT
Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (D): “To finish this tough race in the top 20 positions with all three Scirocco is a great success. Mobility with regenerative fuel is winning increasingly on importance and it was the correct decision to compete with Bio Natural Gas as alternative power. In addition, we gave a great show and won the hearts of many people. A great compliment to our team: You feel that the team gelled during the ‘Dakar’ events and sets about its work in a concentrated manner whatever the situation.”
#117 – Scirocco GT24-CNG – red branding – 1st place Class AT
Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q): “The 24-hour race was a completely new challenge for me and I’m happy to have been a part of this fantastic team. The result is also perfect, although with a little more luck we could have been even better. However, this is also a part of this fantastic race and I hope to be able to return in 2011 with Volkswagen. It was a little too cold for me – but it was quite simply a fantastic experience.”
#118 – Scirocco GT24-CNG – yellow branding – 2nd place Class AT
Jimmy Johansson (S): “After three successful years with three class victories in succession our Junior Team had a difficult 24-hour race with some bad luck. This shows that in addition to a fantastic team you also need some luck during such a tough race. Nevertheless, we demonstrated the potential of the Scirocco GT24-CNG after posting the fastest lap for a front-wheel drive. More specifically though, that sporting dynamic and environmental awareness go hand-in-hand perfectly with one another.”