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With the race at the mercy of bad weather for 24 hours, the SUBARU WRX STI performed a remarkable catch-up to finish 2nd in the SP3T class

The Nürburgring 24-Hour Race 2013 took place in an irregular schedule from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May due to the 3rd weekend of the month falling on a national holiday in Germany.
STI registered 4 drivers to get behind the wheel of their SUBARU WRX STI: Toshihiro Yoshida, in his 7th attempt in the 24-hour race, Kota Sasaki in his 3rd, Carlo van Dam from the Netherlands in his 4th, and Marcel Lasée from Germany - replacing his late friend, Marcel Engels who was killed in a freak accident after the 24-hour race the previous year. The team finished the official qualifying on the 17th and 18th in 2nd in the SP3T class. Local German teams were desperate to prevent SUBARU from taking a 3rd victory in a row in the class. As the 24-hour race got underway at 5:00pm on Sunday, the mild weather deteriorated rapidly and the race was then suspended due to heavy rain and thick fog at 11:00pm. With some continuously adverse weather conditions, the race couldn’t resume until the next morning at 8:00am. The rain continued, however, and so teams struggled with the situation including the right tire choices.
Starting the race from 2nd position in its class, the SUBARU WRX STI was involved in a tough head to head battle with an Audi TT RS - the winner of the qualifying. But when conditions turned very wet, the SUBARU WRX STI couldn’t pick up the pace and allowed its rival with local advantages to steal away. After the race restarted, SUBARU drivers pushed on to close the gap and in the last half of the race, took a chance when almost the entire Nordschleife had dried while the Grand Prix track was still wet. While its 2WD rival was on tires with a shallow tread, the STI team made the decision to run on slicks to reduce the gap, counting on the exceptional stability of AWD. As a result, the 7-minute gap at 2 hours remaining was dramatically reduced to 54 seconds by the final lap. However, by then, there was not enough time left to catch the front runner and the team had to settle in 26th overall and 2nd in class.
STI General Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi commented, “I would say we made a mistake in the settings of tire tuning and fell far behind our rival on wet surfaces where our AWD was supposed to come into its own. In the last half of the race, we were finally able to get some good performance out of the tires and the car. It was also good that the drivers fought back, recording great times under very difficult conditions. I am rather disappointed that we couldn’t win the race and live up to the expectations of SUBARU fans. We would like to come back to Nürburgring with a stronger team and car.”