What’s is possibly the most impressive Golf ever built, will line up for the most extreme race when Volkswagen contest the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring this weekend (23–26 June) with three 450hp Golf24 racecars.
Flat-out around the clock, more than 200 competitors run in rapidly changing weather conditions on the world’s most challenging race track. Yet the Golf24 has been built for exactly this enormous challenge.
Fitting the 35th anniversary of the Golf GTI, Volkswagen Motorsport has developed a thoroughbred racing version of the world’s highest-volume production car.
Powered by a 450hp 2.5L five-cylinder turbo engine, the Golf24 is equipped with four-wheel drive, a sequential 6-speed gearbox with paddle shifters and a spectacular bodyshell.
High-caliber racers will be taking turns at the wheel of three factory cars – they range from seasoned Nordschleife drivers like Peter Terting and Patrick Simon to Formula 1 legends like Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell through to the Volkswagen junior René Rast and the DTM rookie Edoardo Mortara.
With three Dakar winners on the grid, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Carlos Sainz and Giniel de Villiers have dominated the Dakar Rally in the past three years and made three consecutive Volkswagen victories possible. They will use the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife for a joint circuit visit. The three Dakar Champions from 2009, 2010 and 2011 will compete together for the first time and share a 330hp Scirocco GT24-CNG.
Their teammates will also compete for victory in the alternative powertrain class. Le Mans racer Vanina Ickx and journalists Peter Wyss and Bernd Ostmann will drive the sister Scirocco GT24-CNG.
Both Sciroccos are powered by bio-natural gas that reduces CO2 emissions by 80 per cent compared to conventional gasoline engines. The fourth driver of both cars will be the former DTM racer Klaus Niedzwiedz, who has already won the 24-hour race twice.
The Volkswagen driver line-up for the 2011 Nürburgring 24-hour race will be as follows:
#35 – Golf24 – white / red – Peter Terting (D) / Nicki Thiim (DK) / Franck Mailleux (F) / René Rast (D)
#135 – Golf24 – white / blue – Thomas Mutsch (D) / Fredrik Ekblom (S) / Patrick Simon (D) / Edoardo Mortara (I)
#235 – Golf24 – white / yellow – Johnny Herbert (GB) / Patrick Bernhardt(D) / Mark Blundell (GB) / René Rast (D)
#116 – Scirocco GT24-CNG – blue / silver – Dr Ulrich Hackenberg (D) / Vanina Ickx (B) / Peter Wyss (CH) / Bernd Ostmann (D)
#117 – Scirocco GT24-CNG – blue / orange – Nasser Al-Attiyah (Q) / Carlos Sainz (E) / Giniel de Villiers (ZA) / Klaus Niedzwiedz (D)