German News 2 – Non-Porsche
Following on from the earlier item, German
News 1 – Porsche, here is part 2, all news relating to
the German Endurance Championship and the Nurburging 24 Hours.
With the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 to be presented
on February 23, at least one Gallardo will also be in the German
Endurance Championship season full time; the Lambo-Racing car already
received some international exposure at the FIA’s GT3 series
presentation, where it represented the Lamborghini marque, being
the only raceworthy Gallardo in existence at the time. This four-wheel
driven example is of course not eligible for FIA GT3 competition
but has already proven its potential with a class win on the ‘Ring
in 2005. Another team mentioned in connection with a Gallardo is
Raeder Motorsport, their V8STAR “Jaguar” is up for sale.
won’t be the only Fords to (possibly) turn heads this year.
Although visually perhaps not the most exciting type of cars, the
2000cc SP3 class is getting more competitive by the year; Claudia
Hürtgen won the 2005 championship with a WTCC spec. (or at
least WTCC spec.-derived) BMW 320; her race results well in the
overall Top 10 have shown that with all the necessary trick bits,
an outwardly humble family sedan can be a real threat to the GT
Ford team Werner Sport will enter a Ford Mondeo RS for Klaus Werner
himself and former WTCC driver Thomas Klenke. One of those “what
if” projects that keep the internet chat communities busy
during the silly season, the car was built as successor to the Focus
currently used in WTCC, but did not see any competition following
Ford’s decision not to get involved on a factory level. We
can therefore assume that “the necessary trick bits”
are in place, or available.
with more conventional diesel-powered cars, the alternative fuels
class keeps attracting more and more entrants. In reaction to this
success, there will be two classes this year, for the first time
splitting the non-petrol fuelled field into over- and under-2000cc
more of an incentive to enter smaller cars such as the 190bhp (at
only 930kgs), LPG-fuelled “Generationenteam” Fiesta
ST that would otherwise have been up against the more powerful,
but also heavier, turbo diesel entries.
specialist Heico Sportiv has developed a racing version of the turbocharged
S40 T5 for the Speed World Challenge, and plans to debut a similar
car in the Nurburgring 24 Hours with, among others, 20 year old
American Jameson Riley behind the wheel. Riley drove a Volvo S60
for At Speed Racing in the 2005 Speed World Challenge, but parted
company with the team mid-season. In the 2006 Speed World Challenge
Touring Car Series, Riley Racing will campaign a Heico-developed
S40 with support by Heico Sportiv North America (HSNA), and driven
by Riley himself.
2006 will be
the eleventh consecutive season of Nordschleife racing for Heico,
beginning with the Volvo 850 T5 Estate in 1995.
Back to the
world of exotic niche manufacturers: the Wiesmann Roadster and GT
models are inspired by classic front-engined sportscars such as
the Austin-Healey, with modern BMW technology. A works-supported,
450bhp GT was quite successful, and popular with the ‘Ringside
fans for its throaty exhaust note, in 2002 (below); now ex-DTM driver
Jörg van Ommen has launched a team in conjunction with the
RWTH Aachen University’s Formula Student outfit, Ecurie Aix.
Taking Formula Student to the next level: together with van Ommen’s
own team, the students will build a car for the Nürburgring
24 Hours, and also form part of the pit crew during the race.
The 2006 German
Endurance Championship officially kicks off with a pre-season test
on March 18, a week before the first race.