Last weekend we were treated to the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race and in just a week’s time we’ll be enthralled by another 24 hour long race, the equally arduous Nurburgring 24 Hours at the famous Nurburgring-Nordschleife in Germany’s pristine Eifel hills.
The Nurburgring 24 Hours is the highlight of the VLN, a localized race series held at the German circuit each year, and is the perfect breeding ground for automakers to fine tune their designs, not only for racing but also for production cars. Participants range from amateurs in small road legal cars with roll-cages and harnesses to professional factory teams racing ex-DTM cars, so competition is always fierce.
New to the event this year will be two Aston Martin V12 Zagatos, but also making its presence felt once again will be the Lexus LFA, with two examples of the Japanese supercar being fielded by Gazoo Racing.
They will have to do battle with more than 200 other cars, including an army of Porsche 911 GT3s, the Audi R8 LMS and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The Porsches in particular will be tough to be beat as the winning Manthey Racing team as well as the second-generation Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be out in force.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Gazoo team has no chance of success. With a team made up mostly of Toyota employees, Gazoo already managed an overall fifth place and a class win in the SP8 class (cars with naturally aspirated engines over 4.0-liters) in the lead up race to next weekend’s Nurburgring 24 Hours.
Additionally, top drivers Akira Iida and Hiroaki Ishiura have signed up as drivers for LFA number 111, while Juichi Wakisaka, Kazuya Oshima and Hiroaki Ishiura will be racing in LFA number 119.
You can catch a video filmed from an onboard camera mounted inside the number 111 Lexus LFA as it stormed the Nurburgring during the last VLN race by clicking here. Behind the wheel was Hiroaki Ishiura who managed an average speed of 100 mph despite all the traffic and completed a lap of the Nurburgring, including the extra length of the shortened GP-track, in 8 minutes and 34.416 seconds.
The LFA race cars themselves are largely stock though based on the slightly more hardcore LFA Nurburgring Package models.
Some modifications have been made to their bodies, including the installation of a fixed rear wing and a new chin spoiler, but the mechanical package has been left completely stock. This means power still comes from a 4.8-liter 72-degree V-10 engine that’s rated at 562 horsepower and 354-pound-feet of torque.
The Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race kicks off on June 25. Be sure to catch our full recap following the thrilling race.