Motoring

Volkswagen Motorsport unveiled its new GTC racing car

Although motorsport was placed on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic reached South Africa, Volkswagen Motorsport was hard at work making the finishing touches on the new Global Touring Cars (GTC) racing car.

Although motorsport was placed on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic reached South Africa, Volkswagen Motorsport was hard at work making the finishing touches on the new Global Touring Cars (GTC) racing car. The new racing car was unveiled to the media and the public through a virtual event which was streamed live on social media.

The new GTC racing car from Volkswagen Motorsport is based on the Golf 8 GTI. Martina Biene, head of the Volkswagen brand in South Africa continued to explain “for the past four years we have been racing with the Jetta. Since the Jetta is no longer offered in right-hand drive markets, we had to find an appropriate successor and that is where the idea to use the Golf 8 GTI came from. Even though the Golf 8 GTI will only be officially launched and available from South African dealers in 2021, we wanted to use this opportunity to showcase the Golf 8 GTI’s performance attributes ahead of the local market introduction.”

Launched in South Africa in 2016, the Global Touring Cars championship which is comprised of two classes, the GTC1 as well as a second-tier class GTC2, has taken its place as the premier motorsport championship in South Africa. The two Golf 8 GTI cars will be taking part in the GTC1 class and will be piloted by 2019 GTC champion Keagan Masters and Daniel Rowe, the 2016 GTC2 champion.

The GTC2 class which is replaced by the SupaCup will also feature vehicles from Volkswagen Motorsport with Jonathan Mogotsi behind the wheel of the SupaCup Polo. Mogotsi winner of the 2016 Driver Search and 2017 Polo Cup Rookie will be driving the newly developed Polo as he competes in the second tier class within the GTC Championship. The Mogotsi’s Polo produces over 200 kW and sends it power through a locally developed 6-speed M-Trac Sequential Gearbox.

The GTC series has put in place strict control measures to which all vehicles need to adhere to including a common chassis, running gear, a single ECU to control performance, tyres, suspension and other components. Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport continued to explain “New features in the Golf 8 GTI racing car include an all-new chrome-moly tubular chassis which is much stiffer and lighter than the previous generation GTC car. Even with five manufactures competing in the GTC series, it is one of the most premier circuits racing series in Africa due to its competitive nature. It is a tough championship to win, so consistent scoring of points at every round is very important.”

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have not been permitted to race and as the Motorsport fraternity we are all hoping that by August, we can get the cars on the track, although it will most likely to be without any spectators,” concluded Rowe.

Although the national lockdown still inspires uncertainty within the local motorsport community, it is hoped that motorsport events can resume in August 2020 and the first round will likely start at Zwartkops Raceway in Johannesburg.

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