Five legendary names from the world of motorsport will line-up on the grid at Hockenheim this weekend (23-24 April), as the famous German track plays host to the inaugural round of the new Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup. Volkswagen racer and rally champion Carlos Sainz will be joined by Frank Biela, Jacques Laffite and the British pairing of Derek Bell and Martin Brundle.
Each Scirocco R is fitted with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI engine running on bio-CNG which reduces CO2 emissions by 80 per cent compared with conventional engines. This unit develops a peak of 223 PS and 203 lbs ft of torque and, to ensure close racing, a push-to-pass system is also available providing the drivers with a short 30 PS rise in power.
The Scirocco R Cup is supporting the German DTM Touring Car Championship during 2010, including a UK debut appearance at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 3-4 September 2010. The grid for the one-make series comprises 20 drivers, contesting all nine rounds of the competitive season, alongside five legends from the world of motorsport who will change at each race meeting.
The Scirocco Cup
Volkswagen organised the very first Scirocco Cup series in 1976 as a ‘ladder-formula’ to discover and promote young talent. Drivers who emerged from the series included the likes of Manfred Winkelhock who later was to become a Formula 1 driver.
The one-make Volkswagen Cup series passed the mantle from Scirocco to the Golf GTI in 1977, which was replaced by the Polo in 1983 and then the Lupo in 1998. For 2010, the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup replaces the Polo Cup and becomes the supporting series to the German DTM series.
Collectively, the five racing legends contesting the opening rounds of the Scirocco R Cup have started 343 Formula 1 Grand Prix, won the Dakar Rally, two World Rally Championship titles, the Sportscar World Championship, the German DTM championship, the British Touring Car Championship and the Le Mans 24-hour race a total of 11 times.
Carlos Sainz returns to the cockpit of a Scirocco racer following his involvement at last year’s Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race competing in a Scirocco GT24, while the BBC’s Formula 1 commentator Martin Brundle returns to the cockpit of a Volkswagen powered racer more than 25 years after his first experience. Brundle, whose son now races for Volkswagen-partner team T-Sport in British Formula 3, previously competed in the same championship before graduating to Formula 1 and sportscars.
Claiming home advantage, Frank Biela is keen to impress behind the wheel of the Scirocco R Cup as this weekend sees the endurance racing expert competing against his daughter Isabelle, who is among the drivers registered for the season. Frenchman Lafitte returns to Germany with knowledge of the Hockenheim track after racing there in Formula 1, Formula 2 and the DTM championship.
68 year-old sportscar ace Derek Bell, who became Sportscar world champion in 1985 and 1986 and won the Le Mans 24 Hours a total of five times, completes the legends line-up.
Volkswagen will return to Germany’s ‘Green Hell’ next month to compete in the legendary Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race with three gas-powered Scirocco GT24-CNG coupés, and you can see a short video preview by clicking on the image below.