Volkswagen Motorsport unveils the Golf VIII GTI GTC racecar

Volkswagen Motorsport announced that it will defend the Global Touring Cars (GTC) championship in the new Golf VIII GTI GTC racecar which was unveiled at a virtual event, before the official South African launch in 2021.

Volkswagen Motorsport’s new GTC racing car is built using the Golf 8 GTI body. “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,” said Martina Biene, Head of the Volkswagen Brand.

Global Touring Cars (GTC), which launched in South Africa in 2016, is the premier motorsport championship in South Africa and includes the main GTC Championship (GTC1) as well as the second-tier class, GTC2.

Visually, the Golf GTI GTC features an aggressive aero pack with aerodynamic extension in the front bumper, additional air intake, bonnet with integrated scoops,  flaired wheel arches, racing wheels and tires, extended side sills and a huge rear wing mounted on the hatch. Inside the stripped-out cabin, there is a roll-cage, a single racing bucket seat, a basic dashboard with only the necessary racing switches, a flat-bottom steering wheel and a fire extinguisher.

In the GTC series all vehicles have to adhere to strict control measures which feature a common chassis, running gear, a single ECU to control performance, tyres, suspension and other components.

“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,” said Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport.

“Even with five manufactures competing in the GTC series, it is one of the most premier circuit 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,” added Rowe.

“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.

Volkswagen Motorsport will compete in the two Golf 8 GTIs in GTC1. They will be driven by 2019 GTC champion Keagan Masters and Daniel Rowe, the 2016 GTC2 champion. Volkswagen Motorsport will also be represented in the SupaCup, which replaces GTC2, by 2016 Driver Search winner and 2017 Polo Cup Rookie winner, Jonathan Mogotsi. Mogotsi will be racing the SupaCup Polo, which is a newly developed car for the second tier class within the GTC Championship. The new car is an exciting addition to South African motorsport and produces over 200kW coupled to a locally developed 6-speed M-Trac Sequential Gearbox.

The start of the official 2020 South African Motorsport circuit racing season is still unconfirmed, but it is hoped that motorsport events can resume in August 2020 and the first round will likely start at Zwartkops Raceway in Johannesburg.

Source: Volkswagen Motorsport