The SUBARU WRX STI won the SP3T class, the sixth victory in this class.
SP3T1st｜ Overall18th *
Carlo van Dam
Carlo van Dam
Subaru Tecnica International Inc. (STI) entered their SUBARU WRX STI (Driver: Carlo van Dam / Tim Schrick / Hideki Yamauchi / Takuto Iguchi) in the 47th Nürburgring 24-Hour Race, which was held from June 20 to 23 in Germany. The SUBARU/STI team completed 145 laps (approximately 3,679 km) in 24 hours without any problems and came out on top in the SP3T class, finishing in 19th place overall out of 160 vehicles. This marked a back-to-back win and a sixth victory for the team since their maiden run in 2008.
The free practice session on Thursday, the 20th was disrupted due to a sudden thunderstorm, which raised concerns that unstable weather might continue throughout the race. However, it did not rain at all during the qualifying race and later, and in fact, the race was blessed with good weather from start to finish. It became a warm race with a maximum temperature of 25 °C and a minimum temperature of 14 °C, making for a comfortable time for the drivers, pit crews, and cars.
In the qualifying race, driver Hideki Yamauchi recorded a best lap time of 9 minutes 1.872 seconds in the 2nd qualifier held on Friday the 21st, clinching the top of the SP3T class. Achieving the class pole position, the team started the race in the front row of the 3rd group. Starting driver, Takuto Iguchi had a stable run, which was then handed on to Carlo van Dam, Tim Schrick and Hideki Yamauchi. The WRX STI presented not only its speed but also good fuel consumption, and the team went on with its plan of each driver completing 9 laps throughout the night. This widened the gap with their rivals. While Schrick was driving, the WRX STI was hit by a GT3 car in the early stages and was pushed off the track. However, the WRX STI did not sustain any major damage and was able to continue on with the race.This was to be the only incident throughout the whole race. In the morning, the team changed the WRX STI’s front brake pads just in case, but got the car back on to the circuit with minimum time loss. Further, at around 5:00am, Carlo van Dam broke the team’s record twice in a row, achieving their best lap time of the race - 9 minutes 3.998. This became testament that the WRX STI can demonstrate high speeds even after running long distances.
The temperature rose towards the end of the race, and other top-class machines suffered from various problems one after another. However, despite the heat, the WRX STI kept up with its high pace, and driven by the last driver Carlo van Dam, clinched the SP3T class win at 3:30pm, finishing in 19th place overall. This marked a first perfect race without any trouble for SUBARU/STI since its participation in the race, and the 145 laps that they completed became a new record for the team.
Comment from General Team Manager, Hideharu Tatsumi.
“Learning from last year’s experiences at Nürburgring, we investigated the causes and fixed the problems one by one ahead of this year’s race. Further, we wanted to win this race in style, unlike last year’s race where we were skating on thin ice. I am very happy we could achieve this goal. We gathered ideas from the development team on how we could further strengthen the car, and once we implemented these technologies, we spent a long time confirming their reliability. We were asking a lot from our suppliers for tires, silencers and wheels, but they all provided us with perfect products. The Nürburgring 24-Hour Race is held only once a year, and it is up to us how we spend the other 11 months. I trust all drivers were satisfied with this year’s car and our mechanics and engineers did a splendid job to live up to the drivers’ expectations. I am truly grateful for our fans cheering all the way from Japan. Thank you for all your support.”
* The Manthey-Porsche #911 which was in 2nd position overall has been disqualified subsequently, the SUBARU WRX STI has been qualified as position 18th overall consequently.
SUBARU WRX STI (VAB)
Overall Length/Width/Height/Wheel Base
5,120mm / 1,900mm / 1,395mm / 2,700mm
EJ20 horizontally-opposed single-scroll turbo engine
461Nm(47kgf.m) / 3,000rpm
6-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifter
Front: Brembo 6 pot
Rear: Brembo 4 pot
ENDLESS brake pads