WRX STI wins class in Nürburgring 24-hour race

Wed, 29/06/2011

A Subaru WRX STI has won its class in the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race in Germany, regarded as one of the world’s toughest events.

The WRX STI was entered in the SP3T class, for sub-2.0 litre turbocharged vehicles. It came 21st overall.

The Nürburgring comprises a 25.378 kilometre circuit, which is frequently used by the world’s leading car manufacturers, including Subaru, to test the limits of performance cars.

More than 210 cars started the race on the narrow track.

Subaru Tecnica International (STI) first participated in the race in 2008, with 2011 their fourth time.

Since STI’s first outing at Nürburgring, it has been aiming for a class win while steadily improving its cars performance.

This year’s car was built for races and is based on the Japanese domestic market specification WRX STI tS.

Following last year's fourth-place result, the team competed in the 2011 six-hour VLN endurance race at Nürburgring on 14 May, with an eye on a class win in the big race. In the shorter event, drivers familiarised themselves with the new car and the track, and the car was set up to suit the course conditions.

The team brought back driver Toshihiro Yoshida, who has much experience in the race, Carlo van Dam from Holland and Marcel Engels from Germany, who both joined the team last year. Kouta Sasaki, a regular Japanese series Super GT competitor, was the fourth driver.

The final race kicked off with the WRX STI starting from sixth position following qualifying.

The WRX STI moved up to take the lead in its class by the one-hour mark.

Conditions later turned dry, but the WRX STI held on to top spot.

It ran a total of 142 laps, which is around 3603.7 km, through a day and a night.

Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi, General Manager of STI's Vehicle Experiment Department, said: “This time, the purpose was to fight against the world's best cars with a car that STI developed and to win. I am very pleased we achieved this goal. We've been able to prove here that STI's direction in creating cars is not wrong. I hope that we've been able to convey our message - that STI cars provide pleasure, to as many Subaru owners as possible.”

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