JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – VW Motorsport has unveiled its latest Global Touring Cars (GTC) race car during a virtual event streamed live on social media.
The cars will be assembled in Golf 8 GTI shells.
Martina Biene, head of the VW brand, reminded the motoring media that the racing class had been filled with Jetta-based cars – but that ended when that model no longer had right-hand drive.
”So, we had to find an appropriate successor and the Golf 8 GTI came through, even though it will only be officially launched to 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.”
Global Touring Cars (GTC), launched in South Africa in 2016, is the premier motorsport championship in South Africa and includes the main GTC championship (GTC1) and second-tier GTC2 class.
VW Motorsport will compete with two Golf 8 GTI units in GTC1 driven by 2019 GTC champion Keagan Masters and 2016 GTC2 champion Daniel Rowe.
VW Motorsport will also be represented in the SupaCup (replaces GTC2) by 2016 Driver Search winner and 2017 Polo Cup Rookie winner Jonathan Mogotsi in a SupaCup Polo – described as ”a newly developed car for the second tier class within the GTC championship”.
VW says the new car is ”an exciting” addition to South African motorsport thanks to a 200+kW engine spinning a locally developed six-speed M-Trac sequential gearbox.
Each GTC unit must adhere to strict control measures: a common chassis, running gear, single ECU to control performance, tyres, suspension, and other components.
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Mike Rowe, head of VW Motorsport, told The Corner in a media release: “New features in the Golf 8 GTI race car will include an all-new chrome moly tubular chassis that is much stiffer and lighter than the previous generation GTC car.
“Even with five manufacturers in the GTC series, it is a premier circuit racing series in Africa due to its competitive nature. It’s a tough championship so consistent scoring of points at each round is very important.
“However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve not been permitted to race. The motorsport fraternity is hoping that, by August, we can get the cars on the track – even without spectators.”
AUGUST START FOR SA MOTORSPORT?
A start date for the official 2020 South African Motorsport circuit-racing season is still unconfirmed but it’s hoped motorsport events can resume in August 2020 with the first round likely to be at Zwartkops in Johannesburg.