#116 Scirocco GT24: Altfrid Heger to replace Francois Verbist
Wolfsburg. Nordschleifen-expert Altfrid Heger will be competing in the 24-hour race with the Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 under the starting number 116 with team-mates Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (D), Bernd Ostmann (D) and Matthias Malmedie (D). The former overall winner of the 24-hour race will replace Francois Verbist, who complained about co-ordination problems and feeling sick on Friday evening. Verbist was checked by Volkswagen Motorsport's team doctor, Dr. Johannes Peil (Sportklinik Bad Nauheim). Because no reason for the health problems of the 23-year old could be diagnosed, Dr. Peil, Verbist and the team management decided that it would be better for him to refrain from starting the race.
"I feel very sorry for Francois that he can't participate. He is a valuable team member of Volkswagen Motorsport. He is doing an excellent job, no matter if with the race truck in the Dakar Rally or in the preparation and the test programme of the new Scirocco. We really thank him for that. We hope that he will soon be one hundred percent fit again and will be able to support us", said Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Kris Nissen.
On Friday evening already, Volkswagen Motorsport had already informed the clerk of the course. As Altfrid Heger had already qualified for the race, but wouldn't have raced, the clerk of the course allowed this driver change.
Kris Nissen: "Thanks to Altfrid for his support at short notice. He knows the Nordschleife like his backyard, has already competed in some 24-hour races at the Nurburgring. We will do our utmost to prepare him for the race."