We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

The new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI is ready for its GTC debut

18 September 2020 - 14:16 By Motoring Reporter
Bad to the bone - the new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI Global Touring Car.
Bad to the bone - the new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI Global Touring Car.
Image: Supplied

The lights will finally go green for the first round of the 2020 SA Global Touring Cars (GTC) championship at Red Star Raceway, Delmas, Mpumalanga, on September 25 and 26. And making its debut at this exciting event is the brand new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI. Replacing the trusty Jetta that served the Volkswagen Motorsport team well over the last few seasons, this locally built track-stormer lays claim to the honour of being the first ever Golf 8 race car anywhere in the world to take part in a national championship.

“We have tested the car extensively over the past few months and we are confident that the hard work that went into the initial design and building phases as well as the set-up of the car during testing sessions since, will pay off when the lights turn green in Delmas,” says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport SA.

“The car already competed in an endurance race during August in Port Elizabeth but only as part of a shakedown and its development process, so Round 1 of the GTC series at Red Star will be the official debut for the new Golf 8 and the first real opportunity to weigh it up against its direct competitors from the other rival manufacturers.”

During preseason testing, the team achieved its goals of ensuring that the new Golf is more powerful, but more importantly also lighter and more nimble than the Jetta it replaces. As a result both the overall handling and stopping power have been improved which should see drivers Keagan Masters and Daniel Rowe turn quicker lap times.

“The car is faster than our old car, so that’s already a good start. But we know our competition have also built new cars so we’ll have to wait for the first practice session on the Friday to see where everyone fits in,” continued Rowe.

There will be a number of practice sessions on Friday September 25, with the qualifying session and three races scheduled for Saturday September 26.

Spectators will still not be allowed access into the Red Star Raceway facility due to the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, but fans will be able to follow all the action as it happens on all of Volkswagen Motorsport’s social media platforms. Besides continuous updates, all races will also be livestreamed so fans won’t have to miss any of the drama.