Subaru announced that they will enter their newly released Subaru WRX STI in
this year's Nurburgring 24-hour race.
The event will take place from 19 to 22 June in Germany with STI aiming for their 3rd win following 2011 and 2012 in the SP3T - a class for turbo-charged cars with an engine of 2 liters or less.
Based on Production WRX STI
The WRX STI race car is based on the new Subaru WRX STI, but incorporates components made specifically for endurance races. At the same time it uses many technologies for production vehicles based on STI's experience of participating in the race for 6 consecutive years. Also, through cooperation with Fuji Heavy Industries, starting from the development phase, this vehicle has become even more competitive than the 2013 version because of its improved aerodynamic performance and lower center of gravity. The team will compete in 2 races of the VLN endurance series at Nurburgring on Saturday 12 April and Saturday 17 May. The aim is to further work on car setups before it appears in the official qualifying on the Thursday and Friday of race week. The 24-hour race takes place from Saturday 21 to Sunday 22 June.
The WRX STI NBR Challenge will be driven by Nurburgring veteran Toshihiro Yoshida, Kota Sasaki, who will be competing in the NBR for the 4th time this year, Carlo van Dam from the Netherlands and Marcel Lasée from Germany who joined the team last year. Team Manager Masahiro Ozawa, Manager of STI's Power Unit Engineering Department, will take command of the team. Following last year, Hideharu Tatsumi, Deputy General Manager of STI Motorsport Project Office, who has been in charge of development of the car, will act as STI General Team Manager.
The NBR Challenge team will also be joined by 6 Subaru dealer mechanics -Masaki Ageishi (Nigata Subaru), Ryosuke Nakamura (Fuji Subaru), Shinya Kiyama (Osaka Subaru), Hiroshi Ota (Kyoto Subaru), Nobuaki Shimazaki (Hyogo Subaru) and Tatsushi Umemura (Higashi Shikoku Subaru). These men will be in charge of pit work and vehicle service while utilising their skills and expertise gained through their day-to-day careers as service mechanics.
Successful Shakedown at Fuji
Subaru Tecnica International (STI) already put their new Subaru WRX STI NBR Challenge through a shakedown at Fuji Speedway last week.
STI General Team Manager Hideharu Tatsumi commented that the introduction of the sequential shift gearbox on the new race car is an advantage, but most of the improvement came from the aerodynamics.
"In this new car, the biggest improvement has been made in the aerodynamic performance. If I quantify the improvement, it's nearly 10%. The improvement in the aerodynamic performance has given many positive effects to the car such as speed and fuel efficiency, and the top speed has gone up. Our calculation today tells us that this year's vehicle was faster than last year's by approximately one second per lap," he explained.