ADAC Nurburgring 24-Hour Race kicked off on May 14. The Subaru STI team finished first place at the SP3T class for both first and second qualifying rounds. They placed 44th on the general qualifying results.
Subaru STI team entered the SP3T class. Last year, they suffered from an unfortunate accident and ended up with a disappointing result. This year, they changed the driver system in order to recapture the class victory no matter what. Kota Sasaki is expected to drive and represent as the team’s Japanese driver. However, Hideki Yamauchi, who is active in Super GT, will drive in the event that Sasaki suddenly pulls out of the race.
Marcel Lasse and Carlo van Dam carried the team on their backs last year. Along with them, Tim Schlick, who is the series champion of the 2014 VLN and who is knowledgeable about Nurburgring, will enter the upcoming race. They will face this year’s 24-hour race with a powerful lineup.
In addition, the WRX STI will race on a difficult course. They reviewed the vehicle balance during cornering and the left handle to match with their rivals. They also improved its aerodynamic performance. Significant improvements were made considering examinations of last year’s race.
As a result, they have overpowered their rivals in the SP3T class since the first qualifying round, which had a rainy weather. The condition during the second qualifying round was fortunately better. Van Dam showed a perfect offense in his best condition. They acquired the pole position (44th place overall) at the SP3T class with 9 minutes and 8.037 seconds, leading by 9 seconds over their rivals. They ended up with this result during the qualifying round, where they brought into play a vehicle they’ve been developing since the beginning of the year.
GAZOO Racing’s #54 Lexus RC (Takayuki Knoshita/Kumi Sato/Naoya Gamo/Takayoshi Matsui) entered the SP3T class this year. They finished the qualifying in fourth place (89th place in overall) with 10 minutes and 0.116 seconds.
Tatsumi Eiji, STI general director said, “We have been advancing as we have imagined. We will just exert our effort as a team in the finals.” The team mustn’t relax, not knowing what will happen, just like last year at the 24-hours endurance race. However, it seems we can expect a vigorous running performance even in the finals.
Furthermore, #2 Black Falcon (Mercedes SLS) finished the second qualifying round as an overall first placer. The leading grid for the next race will be based on the top 30 qualifiers. In Japan’s fleet, #53 Lexus LFA CodeX (Masahiko Kageyama/Hiroaki Ishiura/Kazuya Oshima/Takuto Iguchi) is expected to participate.
(Translated by Natassia Jeronne D. Martinez)