When the VW Golf returns to the legendary 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife from 23–26 June, a number of well-known drivers will be behind the wheel, including former Formula 1 racers Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell, as well as Edoardo Mortara from the DTM series.
“We’ve managed to put together a very strong driver line-up for the 24-hour race,” said VW Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. ‘With Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell joining our ranks, we have two experienced racers competing for us whose track records include victories in Formula 1 and the Le Mans 24 Hours, and both have contested the VW Scirocco R-Cup as Legends in 2010. So it’s fitting that, on the Golf GTI’s 35th anniversary, they compete on the Nordschleife which, like the GTI itself, is truly a legend.
Volkswagen will field three Golf24 cars at the 24-hour race in June. The car designated number 35 will be driven by René Rast (VW Junior driver and winner of the 2010 Porsche Supercup), Nicki Thiim (son of former DTM champion Kurt Thiim), plus former DTM and World Championship driver Peter Terting. Car number 135 will be driven by the Swede Fredrik Ekblom and the two Germans Thomas Mutsch and Patrick Simon, who are thoroughly familiar with the Nordschleife.
The number 235 Golf24 has Formula 1 legends Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell taking turns with two young guns from Volkswagen’s formula school. ‘The 24-hour race on the Nordschleife is a big thing. I’m very much looking forward to it,’ said Johnny Herbert. ‘I clinched my last Formula 1 victory on the Grand Prix circuit of the Nürburgring in 1999, so I always like coming back to the Eifel track. The Nürburgring has a very special meaning for me.
In addition to the three Golf24 racers, Volkswagen’s factory commitment includes two Scirocco GT24-CNG cars powered by compressed gas, which previously celebrated a one-two-three finish in the alternative powertrain class. At the wheel will be Volkswagen’s Management Board Member Dr Ulrich Hackenberg (responsible for technical development), former DTM driver Vanina Ickx, plus journalists Peter Wyss (Automobil Revue) and Bernd Ostmann (auto, motor und sport).
The cockpit of the second Scirocco GT24-CNG will be shared by the Dakar Rally winners Giniel de Villiers (winner in 2009) and Nasser Al-Attiyah (2011) and the former DTM racer Klaus Niedzwiedz.