The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup is coming back for its third season starting in April and the automaker spent several days last week evaluating young drivers before selecting 25 to take the wheel this year. Of the 25 drivers that will compete, 16 are new to the series and nine have participated in previous outings. As it has in the first two seasons, the opening round will be at VIRginia International Raceway on April 23.

Drivers were evaluated on the basis of their skill on the track in addition to their ability to communicate. After all, any successful racer has to sell themselves as well as whatever their sponsors are pitching.

The racers will again be competing in identically prepared Jetta TDI sedans with a 170 horsepower version of the 2.0-liter diesel inline-four found in the street Jetta. This year, the season ends with two races at Autodromo AMOZOC in Puebla, Mexico near the factory where Jettas are built. In 2009, the race Jettas began running on B5 biodiesel which the road car is also certified to use. The full list of drivers and 2010 race dates is after the jump.



[Source: Volkswagen]


PRESS RELEASE

Volkswagen Announces the 2010 Jetta TDI® Cup Driver Lineup
25 Drivers Ready To Compete For The Series Championship Starting April 23, 2010

HERNDON, Va., Feb. 10/PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. is proud to announce the names of the 25 drivers who will compete in the 2010 Jetta TDI® Cup. The Volkswagen-operated spec racing series, now entering its third season, will take the green flag on its SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned events beginning April 23 at Virginia International Raceway.

The drivers selected to compete in the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup include:

Rafael Navarro IV – Temecula, CA Colin Thompson – Perkasie, PA
Arie Ouimet – Plymouth, MA Michael Hogg – Vancouver, BC
Chris Wehrheim – Norcross, GA Kevin Gleason – Johnstown, PA
JJ Tomlinson – Park City, UT Taylor Tzouanakis – Wauconda, IL
Justine Jackson – Kingston, Jamaica Wyatt Gooden – Gates Mills, OH
Jarvis Gennari – Boca Raton, FL Brian Whitmire – Baton Rouge, LA
Mike Mineo-Nardacci – East Hills, NY AJ Severino – Hamilton, NJ
Jenna Wagner – Bristol, VA Andrew Novich – Novato, CA
Nate Norenberg – Plymouth, MN Taylor Broekemeier - Fort Collins, CO
JD Mobley - Castle Rock, CO AJ Nealey - Edgewater, MD
Andrew Cordeiro - Woodbridge, ON Ryan Ellis - Ashburn, VA
Jake Thompson – Calgary, AB Juan Pablo Delgado – Orizaba, Mexico
Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle - Puebla, Mexico

Earlier this week in Las Vegas, NV, Volkswagen welcomed driver candidates from throughout North America for three days of in-depth testing and analysis. All drivers were evaluated through a variety of on- and off-track scenarios to establish skill level, potential, and overall ability. Following a collection of driving activities, physical fitness tests, media training, and an in-depth sponsorship workshop from Townsend Bell, who finished 4th in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 (www.townsendbell.com), the final 25 drivers were chosen.

"Our third year for the Jetta TDI Cup is already shaping up to be the best one yet," said Clark Campbell, Motorsport Manager, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "We were given the extremely difficult task of selecting only 25 drivers from a such diverse group of individuals who, honestly, all deserve the chance to compete. With 16 new drivers and 9 more returning from previous seasons, the field is undoubtedly set for top-notch competition and racing excitement."

Drivers will race in ten Jetta TDI Cup events spanning seven road courses in the United States and Mexico in identical, factory-prepared and maintained Jetta TDIs running on clean diesel fuel. The series Champion will win $100,000 toward career development support from Volkswagen, while every driver who competes in the series will earn a Pro Racing license from SCCA at the finish of the season.

The Jetta TDI Cup racecar is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine mated to a six-speed, Direct Shift Gearbox® (DSG®) dual-clutch automatic transmission. The car is only slightly modified from stock through the addition of race tires, suspension, brakes, and safety equipment.

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Schedule

Round 1 & 2 April 23 – 25 Virginia International Raceway (Alton, VA)
Round 3 May 9 New Jersey Motorsports Park (Millville, NJ)
Round 4 June 5 – 6 Miller Motorsports Park (Tooele, UT)
Round 5 July 18 – 20 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, OH)
Round 6 July 30 – Aug. 1 Autobahn Country Club (Joliet, IL)
Round 7 & 8 Aug. 20 – 22 Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI)
Round 9 & 10 Sept. 24 – 26 Autodromo AMOZOC (Puebla, Mexico)

To learn more about the 2010 Jetta TDI Cup, please visit www.volkswagenjettacup.com.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Golf, GTI, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Eos, Passat, Passat Wagon, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. All 2010 Volkswagens come standard-equipped with Electronic Stabilization Program. This is important because the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called ESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or www.media.vw.com to learn more.

SCCA Pro Racing

A wholly owned subsidiary of Sports Car Club of America, Inc., SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. is a leading sanctioning body for motorsports events in the United States. A member of the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States (ACCUS), SCCA Pro Racing operates and sanctions the SCCA World Challenge Championships, the SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup and provides sanctioning and various operational services for other racing series. For more information, please visit www.sccapro.com.

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