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Volkswagen is pumping up the badass for the racing version of its new Scirocco sport-hatch. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, VW will be campaigning a race-prepped version of its latest release at the Nurburgring 24 hour race in the 2-liter turbo category in which a GTI took victory last year. The Scirocco racer will use the same 300-hp TFSI mated to Volkswagen's paddle-shifted DSG, a set-up which, in preliminary testing, Hans-Joachim Stuck called "one of the most uncomplicated racing cars" he's ever piloted. (We'll take that as a good thing.) Stuck, a two-time Le Mans champion, will be among the drivers campaigning the pack of three Sciroccos at the race, alongside double world rally champ Carlos Sainz, VW board member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, three of the four driver's from last year's winning GTI team and a couple of automotive journalists (once again, nobody asked us).
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SCIROCCO BLOWS IN FOR NURBURGRING CLASSIC
The new Volkswagen Scirocco will later this month face the toughest track test in the world, even before it has gone on sale – an assault on the legendary Nürburgring 24 Hours. Three factory developed racing versions of the new coupe, each powered by a 2-litre TFSI petrol engine developing 300 PS, will be in action on Germany's daunting 25 km 'Nordschleife' in the 24/25 May event.
The Scirocco, which is not due to start its production life until the autumn, has already passed its first endurance test, at the Oschersleben motorsport arena, with flying colours. Among the car's many features is a direct-shift transmission system utilising Volkswagen's DSG technology.
Double Le Mans winner Hans Stuck was at the wheel and is relishing his chance to race the Scirocco: 'I felt immediately comfortable in the car,' he said. 'The Scirocco is one of the most uncomplicated racing cars I have ever driven. It's really fun, and I am looking forward to the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife with even greater anticipation.'
Other legends on the driving strength include double World Rally Champion – and victor for Volkswagen of the recent Central Europe Rally – Carlos Sainz, as well as Sainz's Race Touareg team-mates Giniel de Villiers and Dieter Depping. The Volkswagen board member for technical development, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, will drive also.
The Scirocco has a tough act to follow: last year a Golf GTI clinched its class and finished eighth overall at the Nürburgring.
'The racing version of the Scirocco was developed and prepared by our technical staff in record time,' said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen, 'and we are well on schedule now that we have successfully completed this first endurance test. The Nürburgring 24 Hours is the ideal platform to showcase the performance capabilities of this exciting coupe.'
The Nürburgring 24 Hours has established itself as the world's toughest car race since its launch in 1970. A grid of 220 cars is allowed to take the start, with more than 700 drivers scheduled to compete in front of in excess of 200,000 trackside spectators. German TV is planning 12 hours of live coverage of the event.