Thirty young drivers from 16 to 26 years old joined the VW Jetta TDI Cup last year, the first SCCA-sanctioned "Green" series promoting clean-diesel cars and driver education. With lower emissions, better gas mileage and less noise, the series was warmly invited to return in '09. If you haven't attended a race, don't be quick to judge this as a boring motorsport series. We had the opportunity to watch the first round at Virginia International Raceway (et 8/08) and the competition was intense as the 30 racecars with DSG trannys and 170hp, 258 lb-ft 2.0TDI motors battled on the road course, often resulting in battered body parts and cars in the dirt. Last year's action was even documented for Speed TV (visit our blogs at eurotuner.com). All races this year will coincide with professional racing series such as the Grand-Am Rolex, Atlantic Championship, America Le Mans or SCCA World Challenge.
This week, VW announced the sponsors for the year in preparation for the April 25-26 season opener at VIR. Sponsors include Pirelli, Bosch, Castrol, ViON, Oakley, defNder, Aggreko, Red Bull, Hyperfuels and Safety-Kleen. Other series associate sponsors include Ringer Gloves, Jim Russell Racing School and Trellis Earth.
"Given the challenging nature of the current economic climate for motorsports, we are extremely grateful to have the support of so many internationally respected companies, some of which are participating in our series for the first time," said Clark Campbell, motorsports manager, Volkswagen of America. "Heading into our second season as a series, I'm encouraged by our sponsor growth and their belief that the Jetta TDI Cup can help them accomplish their business goals while we work together to develop young drivers into true racing professionals."