The much belated 2020 South African Global Touring Car championship season got a significant shot in the arm this week, when Volkswagen announced their plans for the year.
The Uitenhage car maker will tackle the premier GTC1 class with two brand new Golf 8 GTI models, launched during an electronic press conference from Volkswagen Motorsport’s headquarters. They will be driven by reigning GTC champion Keagan Masters and Daniel Rowe.
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, Dunlop tyres, suspension and various 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.
It will be powered by a turbocharged two-litre four-cylinder Volkswagen engine, producing more than 300 kW of power in race trim. Keagan Masters, who has spent some time behind the new contender’s wheel, says it is “the best handling car I have ever driven”. At the time of writing, it seemed that Vokswagen will face competition from one Audi, four Toyota Corollas and one BMW in the GTC1 class.
Equally exciting was the announcement of a new SupaCup class, which is to replace the former GTC2 category. At this stage the class will boast 11 SupaCup Polo entries, with 10 of them in the hands of privateers.
The SupaCup Polo is a much-developed version of the current PoloCup racer, with a larger turbocharger,a locally developed six-speed M-Trac sequential gearbox, wider wheels, lowered suspension and an aerodynamic body kit with much improved downforce. It produces over 200 kW of power in race trim, and represents a logical upward step for privateers, from Polo Cup, club or single seater racing, at a reasonably price.
Volkswagen Motorsport will be represented in the SupaCup category by 2016 Driver Search winner and 2017 Polo Cup Rookie winner, Jonathan Mogotsi.
“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,” Rowe continued.
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 happen at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria.