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Eighth place overall and class victory

Finally have news of the race from Volkswagen. From the 4hr point on it was nada.

I posted a few notes from my own following online but here is the official PR from Volkswagen.

Well done guys! Shows us very well the potential of the car and the DSG units.

24-hour race at the Nürburgring

The Volkswagen Golf has yet again impressively proved its exceptional qualities in one of the world’s most demanding races.

In the traditional 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring the “R-Line” Golf fielded by Volkswagen Motorsport and driven by the Volkswagen Juniors René Rast (20/Steyerberg) and Jimmy Johansson (22/Sweden) as well as Florian Gruber (24/Aham) and Dieter Depping (Wedemark) captured the outstanding eighth place overall and victory in the class for vehicles with two-litre turbo engines. In addition, the 300-hp Golf fitted with Michelin tyres was the best-placed front-wheel drive vehicle among 200 touring cars. Only GT sports cars from Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin and Dodge were placed in front of the Golf.

Triumph of reliability – juniors impressed

“This is a sensational success. The Golf was running like clockwork. We only refuelled, changed tyres and brake linings – that’s all. All of the drivers and the entire team rendered a perfect performance, the showing of our juniors impressed me in particular,” Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen summed up the result with satisfaction.

“A super team performance,” said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board for the Development Division, praising the performance as well. “The Golf showed the potential it harbours yet again. And this 24-hour race with its extreme conditions was arguably exactly what you’d call a ’Green Hell’: demanding and in a class of its own.”

About 200,000 spectators witnessed a high-calibre 24-hour race on the 25.378-kilometre combination of the Grand Prix circuit and the legendary Nordschleife that was marked by capricious weather. First, a thunderstorm with torrential rain on Saturday afternoon delayed the start by nearly two hours, then the race was interrupted for five and a half hours during the night on account of fog with visibility below 30 metres.

24h-victory only one week after exploits in the Rally Transibérico and Baja 500

“In this popular festival of racing the Golf definitely made new friends,” commented Kris Nissen. The project was realised in an extremely short space of time, without impairing our main engagement with the Race Touareg in any way. A week ago, we won the Rally Transibérico with Carlos Sainz, and in the Baja 500 in Mexico we showed a strong performance with the Race Touareg as well, now it’s this excellent team performance with the Golf, and in parallel, we’re completing an endurance test with the Race Touareg in Tunisia – no doubt a tough week for Volkswagen Motorsport, but it also proves the performance capabilities of our entire squad, which fills me with great pride.”

Pitting only to refuel, and to change the tyres and brake linings

“That was really a dream: The car, the team, the circuit, the atmosphere – everything was fantastic. I wouldn’t mind driving my next 24-hour race straight away,” said an elated Jimmy Johansson, the current Champion in the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup, after his début in the 24h-classic in the Eifel region. “This event had it all, an incredible experience and a huge success,” rejoiced René Rast, the 2005 Polo Cup Champion. “I’m satisfied through and through, the car was simply superb all the way to the last lap. My thanks to Volkswagen for this experience,” added Florian Gruber, who also originates from Volkswagen’s programme of promoting young talent. The multiple German Rally Champion Dieter Depping, who augmented the Juniors team, summed up the outcome, saying, “Everything had been prepared perfectly from the very beginning – it couldn’t have been topped.”

Indeed the number-111 Golf driven by Rast/Johansson/Gruber/Depping that finished eighth overall and won in class reeled off the total of 101 laps on the Nordschleife, which is notorious for the tough demands it makes on material, without a single unscheduled pit stop for technical reasons.

Thanks for a tremendous motorsport event

“My thanks not only go to our drivers and the entire squad, but also to Michelin for excellent tyres as well as to Volkswagen Individual, who made this fielding possible,” commented Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “In addition, I’d like to congratulate the winning team of Olaf Manthey and everyone who made it across the finish line. Special compliments to the ADAC Nordrhein for enabling this tremendous motorsport event.” Kris Nissen added: “I’m confident that we’re going to return to this unique circuit with the Golf.”

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