Tokyo, January 15, 2016 — Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) and its motorsports subsidiary Subaru Tecnica International Inc. (STI; President Yoshio Hirakawa; located in Mitaka, Tokyo) gave an overview of Subaru Motorsport activities for 2016.
Nürburgring 24-Hour Race
The 44th Nürburgring 24-Hour Race will take place in Germany on May 26–29, and STI will compete in the event for the ninth consecutive year with a Subaru WRX STI. STI has won the SP3T class (for sub-2 liter turbocharged vehicles) three times—in 2011, 2012, and 2015—and is looking to achieve a second consecutive win this year to chalk up its fourth class victory.
The race vehicle for 2016 will make optimum use of the low center of gravity and superior balance of the horizontally opposed engine to improve cornering speed. Development and refinement have created a vehicle that is fast while responding precisely to driver input, thanks to a lighter body, reduced inertia moment, better aerodynamics, enhanced front downforce, new engine settings suited to smaller restrictors resulting from regulation changes, and new tires.
Once again Hideharu Tatsumi of STI will be team manager, responsible for both development and operations. The four-man driver line-up remains the same as last year’s class-winning team: Hideki Yamauchi (Japan), Marcel Lasée (Germany), Carlo van Dam (Netherlands), and Tim Schrick (Germany).
SUPER GT Series
The Super GT Series is widely regarded as Japan’s top motorsports category, and this year STI will race a Subaru BRZ GT300 in the GT300 class. Based on 2015 specifications, like the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race vehicle this 2016 model leverages the fundamental strengths of the horizontally opposed engine, and the front tires have been switched from 300/680R18 to 330/710R18 to enhance cornering and braking. Other refinements include an even lighter body, improved aerodynamics, inertia moment minimization, and enhanced engine performance.
The team manager will be Hideharu Tatsumi of STI, while team operations will be managed by R&D Sport (President Shinji Motojima; located in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa). The drivers will again be Takuto Iguchi and Hideki Yamauchi.
Global Rallycross Championships
STI will provide technical support to Subaru Rally Team USA as it competes in the Global Rallycross Championships, which are particularly popular in the United States. This event combines elements of circuit racing, off-road racing, and rallying, and the race vehicle will incorporate expertise acquired in Nürburgring 24-Hour and Super GT competition to prove the superiority of Subaru’s horizontally opposed engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. For the 2016 season, STI is offering technical support in areas including engine development that prioritizes reliablity, body lightening, improved rigidity, and inertia moment optimization.