Nurburgring 24H: Volkswagen preview

Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 to tackle "Green Hell" with bio natural gas Wolfsburg (15 April 2010). With eco-conscious and trend-setting technology into the "Green Hell": Volkswagen will contest the 24-hour race on the Nurburgring with three bio ...

Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 to tackle "Green Hell" with bio natural gas

Wolfsburg (15 April 2010). With eco-conscious and trend-setting technology into the "Green Hell": Volkswagen will contest the 24-hour race on the Nurburgring with three bio natural gas-powered Scirocco GT24-CNG cars. From 12 to 16 May, Volkswagen will tackle the ultimate challenge in international motorsport with the factory-prepared and factory-fielded sport coupes. In addition to bio natural gas as an alternative fuel, the brand will use new differential technology.

The Scirocco squad will be spearheaded by the junior team consisting of Peter Terting (D), Florian Gruber (D), Jimmy Johansson (S) and Nicki Thiim (DK). In the preparation race last weekend Nicki Thiim set a time of 8m 47.337s as a lap record for vehicles with front-wheel drive on the Nordschleife. The second car will again be driven by a woman, Vanina Ickx (B), who will take turns at the wheel with Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q), Dieter Depping (D) and Klaus Niedzwiedz (D). The third Scirocco GT24-CNG will be piloted by a team from technical development which is augmented by journalists: Dr Ulrich Hackenberg (D), Prof Dr Stefan Gies (D), Bernd Ostmann (D) and Peter Wyss (CH).

"The 24-hour race at the Nurburgring is a highlight on the German motorsport calendar and a major technical challenge," says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. "In addition to high media visibility in newspapers, on the Internet and on TV, the classic event will again be a captivating experience for up to 250,000 people. We want to tackle the challenge in front of this enthusiastic audience and again demonstrate the innovative prowess of the Volkswagen brand."

The most eco-conscious powertrain in the field reduces CO2 by 80 per cent

The centrepiece of the Scirocco GT24-CNG for the 24-hour race on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife is its 2-litre TSI turbo engine powered by bio natural gas. The fuel which Volkswagen uses at the 24-hour race is fully produced from renewable materials in Germany and its production has a neutral impact on the climate. Compared with conventional fuels for spark ignition engines - including transport and trackside provision of the fuel - the Scirocco GT24-CNG's CO2 emissions decrease by at least 80 per cent. At the same time, the engine's power output increases as a result of further development: compared with last year when a natural gas-powered Scirocco GT24-CNG clinched victory in the class for alternative powertrains the one female and eleven male drivers can now draw on 243 kW (330 hp) instead of the previous 207 kW (282 hp).

"Compared with last year, the Scirocco GT24-CNG has clearly improved," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "At the 24-hour race it will demonstrate to a large crowd that an eco-conscious bio natural gas engine and sporty performance are not opposites. After Volkswagen is ringing in a new era of one-make cup history with the R-Cup-Scirocco which proves the sprint capabilities of Volkswagen models with bio natural gas power, its 'bigger brother' will demonstrate that this trend-setting technology also harbours perfect endurance capabilities at the 24-hour race."

Analysts, mavericks, youngsters: Volkswagen with a multi-faceted driver line-up

High-calibre technicians on the one hand, rally pros, endurance aces and touring car youngsters on the other: Volkswagen tackles the 24-hour race with a multi-faceted driver line-up. The quartet in the number 118 Scirocco GT24-CNG combines the experience of several 24-hour races with the carefree spirit that is typical of young careers. The Swede Jimmy Johansson and the Germans Peter Terting and Florian Gruber all went through the touring car school of the Polo Cup. Nicki Thiim gathered early touring car experiences in the Seat Leon Supercopa. Johansson, Gruber and Thiim jointly celebrated class victory in the strong field of vehicles with 2-litre turbo engines in the factory fielded Scirocco-GT24 last year - the third consecutive win for Volkswagen.

In the sister car - number 117 - genuine endurance racers, the Belgian Vanina Ickx as well as the two Germans Patrick Simon and Klaus Niedzwiedz, will compete. Another driver who feels at home on long distances is Nasser Al-Attiyah, who celebrated second place overall behind his team colleague Carlos Sainz in the Race Touareg at the 2010 Dakar Rally in South America and will reinforce the trio.

Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Management Board for Technical Development, and Prof Dr Stefan Gies, Head of Chassis Development, will represent the manufacturer's vehicle development division. They will be supported by two journalists with motorsport experience: Bernd Ostmann, Editor-in-Chief of auto motor und sport magazine, and Peter Wyss from the Swiss magazine Automobil Revue. This quartet will compete in the Scirocco GT24-CNG labelled as car number 116.

Innovation in the powertrain: an electro-hydraulic differential lock in car number 116

The Scirocco GT24-CNG designated as car number 116 enters the 24-hour race with a new technical feature. Instead of a conventional differential the sport coupe uses an active electro-hydraulic version. The electronically controlled system combines the functional principle of a conventional differential lock with improved handling. The electro-hydraulic axle lock offers the system-induced advantage of reducing the car's tendency to understeer - thanks to an effect that is similar to traction control systems but does not intervene in the engine's power output.

In addition, a braking system of larger dimensions is designed to considerably reduce the maintenance intervals which occur during a 24-hour race. Another improvement which the Scirocco GT24-CNG received versus last year's model is not merely a matter of looks: two additional headlamps integrated into the sport coupe's bumpers improve vision for the drivers, especially at night.

Endurance races and tests - with success

A lap record for starters: during the preparations for the 24-hour race the Scirocco GT24-CNG with Nicki Thiim at the wheel already set a new lap record for the combination of Nordschleife and Grand Prix circuit - thus proving its great potential. In 8m 47.337s the Dane in the 330-hp bio-CNG vehicle completed a lap of the the 24.433-kilometre version of the "Green Hell" during a race of the Nurburgring Endurance Championship on 10 April.

Volkswagen Motorsport is preparing for the 24 Hour challenge with extensive tests. Light tests at the Volkswagen test track at Ehra-Lessien followed long runs at Guadix, Spain, and on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife. In addition, Volkswagen will contest another Endurance Championship race on the Nurburgring with the Scirocco GT24-CNG on 24 April.

-source: vw

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Series Endurance
Drivers Vanina Ickx , Carlos Sainz , Dieter Depping , Peter Terting , Nasser Al-Attiyah , Jimmy Johansson , Kris Nissen , Patrick Simon , Florian Gruber , Ulrich Hackenberg , Klaus Niedzwiedz , Peter Wyss , Bernd Ostmann , Stefan Gies , Nicki Thiim
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport