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Ex-F1 driver Stefan Johansson enters Nurburgring 24 Hours

Jota Mazda MX5, Nurburgring Nordschleife

Former grand prix driver Stefan Johansson will make his Nurburgring 24 Hours debut 31 years after finishing second on the Nordschleife in a Group C Porsche 956.

The Swede, who took the runner up spot in the 1983 Nurburgring 1000Km in a Joest Porsche shared with Bob Wollek, will contest this year's enduro at the 'Ring on June 21/22 in a factory-backed Mazda MX-5 entered by the British Jota Sport team as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the model.

Johansson, who raced for Mazda at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1990-91, will co-drive the entry in the V3 class for production two-litre soft-top cars with Nordschleife specialist Wolfgang Kaufmann, Briton Owen Mildenhall and Japanese driver Teruaki Kato.

Johansson, 57, told AUTOSPORT: "I raced on the Nordschleife in Formula 3, Formula 2 and then Group C and always loved the place.

"The 24 Hours was something I always wanted to do and I made noises about wanting to do it with the Jota guys, who I know well from my Zytek days [when it helped run Zytek prototypes under the factory and Corsa banners]."

Johansson has already made his return to the Nordschleife in a VLN long-distance race in April aboard the Jota Mazda to qualify to take part in the 24 Hours.

1983 Nurburgring 24 Hours"It was a blast, so much fun in that car even if I had a lot less horsepower than the last time I was there," he said.

DID YOU KNOW...
... the 1983 Nurburgring 1000Km was uniquely run exclusively on the 14.17-mile Nordschleife? The old pits loop had been demolished and the new Grand Prix circuit was under construction ahead of its opening in 1984.

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