2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Thomas and Dirk are outright VW fans. The two guys from Braunschweig cheer as the Scirocco GT24 with the starting number 118 rushes past Brünnchen at full throttle. The Nürburgring 24 hours had more to offer this year than Viper and Porsche.
By Stefan Grundhoff
The fans at the countless campsites around the Nordschleife have rarely looked forward to the 24-hour race as much as this year. The prospect of sun, no fog and a colorful starter field ensured a great atmosphere around the mine, Wippermann and Caracciola carousel. Thomas and Dirk wanted to go to the Austrian Wörtersee, where the traditional meeting of all Golf GTI disciples took place almost at the same time. “But the distance to get there is huge,” says 25-year-old Thomas, a passionate Golf GTI driver.
No duel of equal value
Volkswagen put its stamp on the race in the Eifel in advance. Even before the market launch of the new VW Scirocco, three factory-supported blue racers were placed in the field, which created a great atmosphere. The field of drivers hardly brings any real surprises year after year. Fast at the Nürburgring is only the team that brings true connoisseurs of the ring behind the wheel. But while in recent years hardly anything has happened apart from Manthey-Porsche, Dodge Viper and BMW Z4 M-Coupé, this time exotic cars such as a matt black test Lexus LF-A, a cuddly Fiat 500 and a Gumpert Apollo Hybrid with Heinz came along -Harald Frentzen in conversation. Thomas and Dirk would have preferred the duel between Opel and VW,but instead of a real winning team like 2003, the Rüsselsheim-based company had three OPC Astras with no real chances at the start. Not one of them finished.
Made up 16 minutes behind
The fact that the Mantey team clinched overall victory in a Porsche 997 for the third time in a row after 2006 and 2007 caused a storm of enthusiasm primarily in the pit lane. The favorite 911 with a defective water hose had to go into the pits for repairs after just a few hundred meters and raced after the field 16 minutes behind to ultimately win. In front of 220,000 spectators, the Porsche trio Bernhard / Lieb / Dumas / Tiemann crossed the finish line in the Porsche 911 GT3-RSR with a clear lead over the Hahne / Haarmann / Krumbach / Kaffer team (Porsche 911 GT3-MR). Previously, there had been 17 leadership changes in the sun and at times pouring rain. Other favorites like the highly traded Alzen-Porsche or the Dodge Viper from Zakspeed did not make it to the finish line in the end. The two-time 24-hour winner Sabine Schmitz with her teammates Klaus Abbelen and Dr. Edgar Althoff in a Porsche 997 surprisingly took third place because numerous top teams did not survive the night and were eliminated with defects and accidents.
Top positions for the GT 24
The two brewers Thomas and Dirk want to come back next year. Especially because the three blue GT 24 Sciroccos not only created a great atmosphere in the fan curves at the Adenauer Forst or the Hohe Acht, but were also able to celebrate successful crossings. The two 325 hp sports coupés from Jimmy Johansson, Florian Gruber, Thomas Mutsch and Hans-Joachim Stuck as well as Carlos Sainz, Giniel de Villiers, Dieter Depping and again Hans-Joachim Stuck achieved first and second places in the strong class for Vehicles with two-liter turbo engines.
Racing Scirocco developed in just 75 days
In the overall ranking of 219 teams that started, they finished 11th and 15th. “I'm happy for the team and fans that it went so well. The racing Scirocco was developed, built and tested in just 75 days. Getting three vehicles over the full distance on the world's most demanding race track without any serious difficulties speaks for the excellent performance of the whole team,”praised Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. And even Heinz-Harald Frentzen was able to get something good out of his start in the hybrid Apollo despite only a few racing laps: ?? We are generally not dissatisfied and numerous important measurement data have been obtained. ?? Ultimately, the white flounder crossed the finish line using only electrical energy. The transmission had previously failed several times.