Subaru has announced that it will be running a race-spec version of the upcoming WRX STI in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in June. The 2014 race will mark the seventh year in a row that Subaru has campaigned a car at the day-long Ring race, but this will be the first race outing for the new WRX STI, which isn't set to debut until next week at the Detroit Auto Show.
Subaru will be in the SP3T class, for turbocharged engines displacing 1.75 to 2.0 liters, and is targeting its third class win, after finishing second last year. To do that, it'll be going toe-to-toe with racing versions of cars from Audi, Volkswagen and Seat.
The team will be led by Hideharu Tatsumi, who was responsible for last year's team. Drivers will include Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki, while another pair of European drivers will be announced at a later date.
Scroll down for a promotional video and a press release from Subaru, and then hop up top to get the best look yet at what the production WRX STI will look like when it arrives next week in Detroit.
2014 Subaru Motorsport Activities
Tokyo, January 10, 2014 – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) - the maker of Subaru automobiles and Subaru Tecnica International Inc. (STI)*1 unveiled the new racing car developed from the all-new WRX STI for 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race in 2014 and announced an outline of SUBARU Motorsport activities for 2014 at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2014 with NAPAC (Japan Car Parts and Aftermarket Promotion Association).
Nürburgring 24-Hour Race
STI will participate in the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race (from 19 to 22 June in Germany) for seven consecutive years, with a vehicle whose performance has been enhanced from its base car – the all-new Subaru WRX STI to be revealed at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
With the new driving machine's participation in this race, FHI and STI enhanced mutual cooperation to develop a racing car which boasts a higher level of competitiveness by utilizing the technologies of Subaru's mass-produced models. STI will aim at its third victory in the SP3T class this year following the 24-hour race in 2012. Through the participation in the race that demands speed and stability, Subaru will further enhance its engineering excellence.
Like last year, Hideharu Tatsumi will take the helm of team operations as team manager, in addition to the development of the car. As for team drivers, Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki both from Japan will be listed, adding two more drivers from Europe.
SUPER GT Series
In the last season, "SUBARU BRZ GT300" race car snatched pole position five times in eight races and achieved a class win. With the upgraded 2014 version of this model, STI will aim at a series win this year.
As in previous years, the team will be operated in conjunction with "R&D SPORT" led by Director Shinji Motojima, and Kouta Sasaki and newly joined Takuto Iguchi will be driving for the team.
International Rally Series Organized by FIA
At the same level as previous years, SUBARU will continue to support private drivers who will participate in the FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC2) and European Rally Championship (ERC).