Volkswagen selects driver lineup for Jetta TDI Cup

This past weekend, Volkswagen held their driver selection event for the inaugural Jetta TDI cup series out at Firebird raceway in Phoenix, AZ. Volkswagen evaluated 54 potential participants based on their driving skills, but other factors were taken into account as well. Since the drivers are also expected to help promote Volkswagen and their diesel technology, they had to demonstrate their communication skills and ability to work with the media. In the end thirty drivers aged 16-26 were chosen to run over the six racing weekends starting later this month at Virginia International Raceway. They will have to pay up $35,000 for the season and they can have up to two sponsors for their car. The cars will all be prepared by Volkswagen with 170hp 2.0L TDI engines and six speed DSG transmissions as well as all the necessary safety equipment. The driver that wins the series championship after the Petite Le Mans race weekend in October at Road Atlanta walks away with $100,000. If the champ hooks up a professional drive for 2009 within six months of the end of the season, VW will kick in an extra $150,000.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Thirty up-and-coming drivers to launch new environmentally responsible race series

, Mich.– Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today the selection of 30 drivers to compete in the all-new Jetta TDI Cup series. The drivers were chosen at a driver selection event April 3-6 at the Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz.

"We're offering a unique opportunity for some of the best and brightest drivers to get their start in a factory-backed racing series," said Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "Through an exhausting driver evaluation process, we looked at a variety of factors including driving ability and potential, media and communication skills and overall fit, to choose the 30 best drivers to help promote Volkswagen and the introduction of our all-new 50-state clean diesel Jetta TDI, and ultimately themselves."

The 30 drivers are:

Chad Brassfield, 20, Phoenix, Ariz.
Caleb Kenney, 22, Berkeley, Calif.
Gary Williams Jr., 26, Dana Point, Calif.
Ryan Buetzer, 25, Long Beach, Calif.
Evan Pflock, 20, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Andy Lee, 25, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jimmy Underhill, 21, Denver, Colo
Taylor Broekemeier, 21, Fort Collins, Colo.
Josh Hurley, 23, Cooper City, Fla.
Mark Pombo, 25, Duluth, Ga.
Timmy Megenbier, 16, Melrose Park, Ill.
Nick Mancuso, 21, Mettawa, Ill.
Adam Love, 21, Normal, Ill.
David Richert, 25, Niverville, MB, Canada
Chris Castagna, 22, S. Boston, Mass.
Michael DeNino, 18, Gaithersburg, Md.
Chris Kuenning, 20, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Noah Arundel, 27, Tonka Bay, Minn.
John Shim, 22, Starkville, Miss.
Adam Crepin, 20, St. Louis, Mo.
Jake Dallenbach, 18, Charlotte, N.C.
Adam Kretschmer, 21, Brampton, ON, Canada
Andrew Cordeiro, 24, Woodbridge, ON, Canada
Chris Holman, 20, Burlington, ON, Canada
James Kirkham, 23, Beaverton, Ore.
Derek Jones, 24, Philadelphia, Penn.
David Jurca, 22, Federal Way, Wash.
Liam Kenney, 16, Sterling, Va.
Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle, 23, Puebla, Mexico
Wyatt Dallenbach, 16, San Antonio, Texas

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series is an innovative approach to motorsports – 30 factory-prepared and managed 2009 Jetta TDI clean-diesels will be piloted by talented, up-and-coming drivers, ages 16 to 26. Volkswagen's goal is to find the driver with the most talent and help them break into the world of professional motorsports. The Jetta TDI Cup series is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing Inc.

The concept is as revolutionary as the car, which is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TDI, clean diesel engine. The Jetta TDI is lightly modified from spec, featuring race-ready suspension and brakes, and a six-speed double-clutch automatic DSG transmission. Additionally, to highlight its environmental dedication Volkswagen has partnered with to certify the entire race series as carbon free.

"With the Jetta TDI Cup, Volkswagen has created an amazing platform to develop young drivers and expand their knowledge about clean, quiet and powerful diesel technology," said Robert Wildberger, president and CEO, SCCA Pro Racing, Inc. "We look forward to the series in hopes that it will attract more attention to the drivers and advantages of diesel power."

In the end, the winner of the race series will be awarded $100,000 from Volkswagen to aid them in their next steps as a professional racer. An additional $150,000 will be given to the winner if he or she signs a contract with a professional level team within six months of winning the Jetta TDI Cup series.

2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Schedule
April 25-27
VIRginia International Raceway
Grand-Am / SPEED Touring Car
May 17-18
Mosport International Raceway
Canadian Touring Car / MX-5 Cup
Aug 14-17
Lime Rock Park
NASCAR Camping World Series
Sept. 19-20
Iowa Speedway
USAR Hooters Pro Cup
Sept. 27-28
New Jersey Motorsports Park*
SPEED World Challenge/ARCA
Oct. 1-3
Road Atlanta
ALMS / SPEED World Challenge

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