|The Alfa 147 JTD scored its third consecutive victory in the Diesel Class, confirming the supremacy of the Multijet injection system in almost impossible conditions at 33rd ADAC Zürich 24 Hours of Nürburgring, Nordschleife, May 7 and 8, 2005.|
With two Golden Serpents – a symbolic reference to the traditional Alfa Romeo shield – already adorning the flanks of the cars, May 7/8th weekend’s results added a third trophy to the collection. The Alfa 147 JTD 20V Multijet secured its third consecutive win at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, in the hotly contested Diesel Class. At the helm were former F1 driver Michael Bartels, former DTM driver Timo Scheider, Stefan Neuberger (head instructor at the Alfa Romeo Sports Driving School) and Herbert Schürg (Alfa Romeo test engineer). The Alfas easily dominated their 23 rivals in the Diesel Class, scoring an excellent 13th place in the overall classification, out of a total 216 entrants, ahead of many petrol-driven cars, some of which with more than twice the horsepower.
Just as it had done in the previous two 24 hour events, the Alfa Romeo 147 JTD made full use of the reliability and thrift of its state of the art Multijet injection technology. In conquering its third Diesel Class victory, the JTD completed 124 laps of the tortuous roller coaster ride through the Eifel hills: a demanding endurance test lasting 3,147 kilometres, during which the five cylinder turbodiesel ran with chronometric precision.
Each driver change was also perfectly executed by the Alfa Romeo Sports Division precisely on the time limit (2½ hours per shift). The few unscheduled pitstops were caused by changes in the weather. Repeated, violent downpours and temperatures around freezing reconfirmed Nordschleife’s reputation as the “Green Hell”, forcing teams to make frequent changes from slick to rain tyres and vice versa. “The 147’s setup was a great advantage in these awful conditions” said Michael Bartels, who is also currently engaged in the FIA GT, driving a Maserati MC-12, “in both the wet and the dry, we were always able to drive at the limit”. If Bartels and his team-mates were not deterred by the weather, the approximately 180 thousand fans who lined the over 25 kilometres of track were equally determined.
The second car fielded by the Alfa Romeo Sports Division, the Alfa GT 1.9 JTD 16V Multijet, was less fortunate, however. Powered also by a turbodiesel unit, the coupe had finished the qualifying sessions in second place, behind the Alfa 147 JTD, but an off-track crash in the early stages of the race made an engine change necessary. The car, driven by actress Eve Scheer, Bernd Ostmann (editor in chief of the motoring magazine “auto motor und sport”), touring car racing specialist Franz Engstler and the man from Alfa Romeo, Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, only returned to the track after a significant delay. “I still really enjoyed the 24 Hours again, because it is an expression of authentic motor sport", commented Kalbfell, after his third time participating in this, now legendary endurance race.
“Diesel Class” standings (24 cars entered)
1. Bartels/Scheider/Schürg/Neuberger Alfa 147 JTD 124 laps
2. Haider/Kutsch/Hiltscher/Kraus BMW 330d - 4 laps
3. Rattunde/Lloyd/Moore/Bolz VW Bora TDi - 8 laps
Technical specifications, Alfa 147 2.4 JTD 20V Multijet
24 Hours of Nürburgring, 2005
Engine in-line transverse mounted 5 cylinder turbodiesel with Multijet direct injection
Capacity 2,387 cc
Power approx. 193 kW (approx. 260 bhp)
Transmission six speed sequential
Suspension all-independent, Eibach stabiliser bars on front and rear axles
Brakes front: 355 mm diameter, ventilated, cross-drilled discs, fixed, six-piston calipers.
rear: 251 mm diameter; fixed, two-piston calipers
Wheels ATS alloy, 8.5 x 18”
Tyres Dunlop 235/640-18 racing tyres
Bodywork three-door monocoque
Safety Safety cage welded to the bodywork, Recaro bucket seat, six-point Sandtler harness, dual chamber automatic fire extinguisher system
Measurements length 4,170 mm / width 1,850 mm / variable height
Wheelbase 2,546 mm
Dry weight approx. 1,130 Kg
Fuel tank FT3 safety tank, capacity 115 litres
Turin, May 9, 2005