View Full Version : Diesel Golf Goes For 24 Hour Glory

01-09-2007, 08:55 PM

A near-standard Golf TDI piloted by former Volkswagen Racing Cup drivers is hoping once again to shake the establishment in Britain’s only 24-hour saloon car race, which takes place next weekend (8/9 Sept) at Silverstone.
Last year the TH Motorsport-prepared Volkswagen claimed 15th place overall in a field of 52 cars and was the only diesel-powered finisher in the Britcar 24 Hours. Driven by a team of five including Ken Lark, Mike Neuhoff and Nick Starkey the Golf trounced a host of exotic machinery, including Porsche 911s and BMW M3s.
Neuhoff, the 2001 Volkswagen Racing Cup champion, Lark and Starkey return to the fray for this year’s marathon and will share driving duties with Tim Saunders.
The key to the Golf’s success is its frugal nature, which allows it to stay out on track for three hours at a stretch before refuelling is necessary. ‘We stop seven times during the 24 hours while the big sports cars make 20 visits to the pits,’ said Lark.
‘We hope very much to do some more giant killing this time,’ added Ken, ‘but the object of the exercise is very much to have fun and not spend a fortune doing it. Virtually all we have done to the Golf in the way of preparation is to wash it and fill it with diesel.’
They face some stiffer opposition this year in the diesel class in the form of three BMW saloons, one of which is to be crewed by Top Gear TV presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Richard Hammond and ‘the Stig’. ‘We plan to give them a wide berth,’ says Ken, ‘depending on which of them is at the wheel!’
The Golf – which is powered by a standard 1.9 TDI engine rescued from a written-off road car – is backed by Ambient Technologies.
The Britcar 24 Hours gets underway at 1630 on Saturday 8 September. Among the top GT3 entries are several Moslers, a Ford Falcon, Porsche 997s and the BMW MZ4 coupe which emerged on top in 2006. A Volkswagen Beetle RSi is also among the entries, to be piloted by Dave Bennett and Marcus Fothergill.