Michelin and Porsche Hybrid Come Close to an Exploit in the ‘Green Hell’
(Michelin) The new Porsche GT-R Hybrid/Michelin led for a significant amount of last weekend’s Nürburgring 24 Hours before being sidelined with an hour remaining. Victory in the FIA Alternative Energies Cup went to Volkswagen’s biogas-fuelled Scirocco GT24.
The 38th Nürburgring 24 Hours was hosted by the Nordschleife, the world’s longest circuit (25km) which is frequently nicknamed the ‘Green Hell’. This year again, it drew more than 220,000 spectators to the Eifel Mountains to watch the anticipated battle between Porsche, Audi, BMW and Ferrari.
Overall victory ended up going to BMW, but the 2010 race was marked by the performance of Porsche’s new hybrid car which was unveiled at March’s Geneva Motor Show.
Thanks to its lower fuel consumption, which enabled it to complete one or two additional laps per stint, the Michelin-equipped GT-R Hybrid led for eight hours. During the 21st hour, however, exhaust trouble saw it fall back before its engine failed for good with an hour to go.
Even so, the hybrid technology developed jointly by Porsche and Williams (derived from the Kers seen in F1) was seen to be an extremely competitive package. “Our run wasn’t sufficient to win, but Porsche’s hybrid technology clearly showed its potential in what is one of the world’s toughest races,” noted Porsche AG’s Michael Macht. “Our intention is to pursue the development of this innovative concept which should show the way forward for motor sport in the future.”
However, ‘green’ technology did succeed in topping the AT class which saw the biogas-powered VW Scirocco GT24 (less than 80g of CO2/km) come first and second. Car N°117 (Vannina Ickx/Nasser Al-Attiyah/Dieter Depping/Klaus Niedzwiedz) even finished 16th overall! First prize in the FIA Alternative Energies Cup – which included the German event for the first time – also went to Volkswagen. Biogas is produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter (biomass, green waste, etc.). It is one of the cleanest biofuels around and cuts CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent. READ MORE