37. ADAC 24h-Race 2009

24.05.2009

HEICO SPORTIV drew up to the starting line in a bioethanol powered Volvo C30 at last week's legendary 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring, and took second place in its class.

170 teams contested in one of international motorsports' greatest challenges when they started at the 37th ADAC 24 Hour Race around the Nürburgring's Nordschleife. Once again the infamous "Green Hell" bore its teeth, sparing neither man nor materials.

Like its peers, HEICO SPORTIV was given no reprieve. Repeatedly, the driving team comprising Ulli Andree (Cologne), Patrick Brenndörfer (Pfungstadt), Frank Eickholt (Bottrop) and Martin Müller (Griesheim) was dogged by tire damage caused by outside influences.

Patrick Brenndörfer's immediate move into first position at the start could initially defended by Müller, Eickholt and Andree. But after four hours' racing, Ulli Andree had to put in an unscheduled pit stop after a spectacular blowout at well over 200 km/h (125 mph) in the "Pflanzgarten" leg all but ended in takeoff. With much routine and driving prowess, Andree was able to keep control of his "HEICO HS3" and return to the pit without touching the crash barrier. Following a breakneck repair and fast lap times, he sped off again into the night on his mission to make up the lost time. Particularly this phase of the race is critical as lighting conditions change from one circuit to the next, demanding maximum concentration and outstanding track know-how.

As dawn was breaking, and the competitors were 16 hours into the race, a wheel bearing failure caused by the previous damage provided for a longer pit stop, dashing the team's hopes of the aspired class victory.

"We're still satisfied with second place; after all, we proved spectacularly that, literally, we went through 'Green Hell' and emerged unscathed at the finishing line using biofuel CropPower85," concludes HEICO SPORTIV general manager, Holger Hedtke.