24H Nurburgring: Volkswagen qualifying report

Best in class: Volkswagen Scirocco cars set the pace Wolfsburg (22 May 2009). Two engine concepts and best in class twice: The Volkswagen Scirocco cars powered by natural gas and petrol engines set the pace in qualifying for the 24-hour race on...

Best in class: Volkswagen Scirocco cars set the pace

Wolfsburg (22 May 2009). Two engine concepts and best in class twice: The Volkswagen Scirocco cars powered by natural gas and petrol engines set the pace in qualifying for the 24-hour race on the Nurburgring in their respective classes. In the classification for vehicles with alternative powertrains, the natural gas-powered Scirocco GT24-CNG of Vanina Ickx (B), Peter Terting (D), Klaus Niedzwiedz (D) and Thomas Klenke (D) set the best time ahead of the "sister car" of Volkswagen Executive Board Member Dr Ulrich Hackenberg (D) and journalists Bernd Ostmann (D), Peter Wyss (CH) and John Barker (GB). In the overall classification, the two orange EcoFuel cars occupied places 40 and 49. Last year's winning car of Jimmy Johansson (S), Florian Gruber (D), Nicki Thiim (DK) and Martin Karlhofer (A) grabbed the lead as the best-in-class vehicle and 41st overall. The trio of the blue petrol-powered Scirocco GT24 was the front runner in the category of cars fitted with two-litre turbo engines. Carlos Sainz (E), Dieter Depping (D), Wolfgang Kaufmann (D) and Patrick Simon (D) clinched fourth place in class and 47th overall, Altfrid Heger (D), Carlo van Dam (NL), Congfu Cheng (CN) and Franck Mailleux (F) finished fifth and 51st overall.

A three-tenths-of-a-second lead: CNG Scirocco in front of petrol Scirocco

The qualifying event underlined the fact that the environmentally friendly Volkswagen EcoFuel engine is a viable alternative: With a lead of about three tenths of a second, the comparison on the 25.359-kilometre Nurbugring-Nordschleife produced an extremely narrow result - and favoured the natural gas-powered model. This means that the orange-blue double from Wolfsburg will line up on the first row of the second group on the grid. The 24-hour race starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, the German TV channel Deutsche SportFernsehen DSF will air over 16 hours of coverage of the endurance classic in the Eifel region.

Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
"We can be really happy with the qualifying results: All five Scirocco cars ran like a charm - that was a first-class team performance. Congratulations to Peter Terting, he beat our best time from last year with his fastest lap by about three seconds. This also shows how close the natural gas and petrol engines are. Both concepts have good chances for class victory and a place among the top 20."

#114 - Volkswagen Scirocco GT24-CNG - yellow markings
Peter Wyss (CH): "It's an incredible pleasure to be able to drive the crucial qualifying as a journalist in a real factory team. Everything was perfect: I'd never driven this fast on the Nordschleife before - and with natural gas at that. The Scirocco handles very well and has a good, safe feel."

#115 - Volkswagen Scirocco GT24-CNG - black markings
Peter Terting (D): "We completed our programme as scheduled - setting the best time was not the most important thing, but of course we're very happy about it. It shows how close the natural gas and petrol engines are in the competition. We're extremely well prepared for the race and we also used the qualifying to break in our brake discs, linings and tyres."

#116 - Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 - black markings
Altfrid Heger (D): "I'm very happy to be part of the Volkswagen team again. This year, I'm playing the role of mentor for my three young team colleagues who are contesting their first 24-hour race on the Nurburgring. I don't have to explain to them how to drive a car at high speed, though - all three are real pros. But the Nordschleife is packed with special aspects which I'm intimately familiar with and am pleased to share."

#117 - Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 - orange markings
Dieter Depping (D): "The atmosphere around the Nordschleife is already fantastic now: Tens of thousands are camping along the circuit, flags are being waved everywhere and the number of messages fans have painted on the track keeps growing. I feel very comfortable in the Scirocco. The car is really quick without putting excessive strain on the driver. I'm really looking forward to the race."

#118 - Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 - yellow markings
Jimmy Johansson (S): "The Scirocco really handles perfectly and is very pleasant and safe to drive even at top speed. Our goal was to set the best time in class and we managed to do that. But we mustn't underestimate the competition. We've got powerful rivals both in class and in the whole field. I trust our car, our team and our really well-balanced drivers' squad, and think that we'll be able to clinch a good result."

-credit: vw

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Vanina Ickx , Carlos Sainz , Wolfgang Kaufmann , Dieter Depping , Peter Terting , Jimmy Johansson , Thomas Klenke , Carlo van Dam , Altfrid Heger , Congfu Cheng , Kris Nissen , Franck Mailleux , Patrick Simon , Florian Gruber , Ulrich Hackenberg , Klaus Niedzwiedz , Peter Wyss , Martin Karlhofer , Bernd Ostmann , Nicki Thiim , John Barker
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport