The curtain has been raised on the new Golf GTI TCR: the race version of the compact classic from Wolfsburg [Germany], which generates up to 350hp, goes into 2017 with new aerodynamics.
Following the first full season of racing, in which the Golf GTI TCR won 17 races and two championship titles, modifications have been made to the car’s outer skin, while the technology under the bonnet has also been fine-tuned. The Golf GTI TCR, which is available in race trim from €90,000 plus VAT from Volkswagen Motorsport and is based on the road-going Golf GTI, is aimed at professional teams and drivers battling for race wins and championships at racetracks in rapidly growing TCR series around the world.
“The first full season of the Golf GTI TCR was a great success from a sporting point of view: our customers Leopard Racing and Liqui Moly Team Engstler won the international and TCR Asia Series titles at the first attempt,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “You cannot afford to rest on your laurels in motorsport, and we want to continue to offer our customers a competitive car for their commitments around the world. For this reason, we have systematically further developed the Golf GTI TCR for the 2017 season. The focus of this further development was on the car’s aerodynamics.”
At the heart of external modifications are the new fenders (guards), with a new profile and new vents improving the aerodynamic efficiency of the five-door car. “The strict technical regulations, which aim to ensure affordable costs and close sporting competition, do not give the technicians very much leeway,” explained Eduard Weidl, TCR project leader at Volkswagen Motorsport.
“With the new aerodynamics, we have further optimised the performance of the car on fast sections of track by reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing the overall downforce. Furthermore, we have also worked on many detailed solutions based on the experience gained from the car’s debut year: for example, we have optimised the power development of the two-litre turbo engine, improved the control of the sequential gearbox, and integrated a powerful electric power steering.” At the same time, the Volkswagen Motorsport technicians in Hannover also dedicated their time to improving the durability of components that are subjected to great strain.
Sweeping technical changes and large boosts in performance are not possible in the TCR category (“Touring Car Racing”): the cars’ basic technical data is stipulated and annual tests run by the TCR organisation, at which intense checks, measurements and analysis are performed ahead of the start of the season, serve as the basis for the classification of the automobile manufacturers’ various cars in terms of performance, aerodynamics, weight and weight distribution. The goal is the “Balance of Performance” – to achieve the greatest possible degree of equal opportunity for all registered teams, in order to ensure that it is not the technology that decides between victory and defeat, but primarily the performance of the drivers.
Among the customers to take delivery of the new generation of Golf GTI TCR is Liqui Moly Team Engstler, which will once again field its cars in the German ADAC TCR Germany series (season-opener 28-30 April in Oschersleben/Germany), TCR Asia (season-opener 10-12 March in Sepang/Malaysia), and TCR Middle East (next race on 10 March in Bahrain) this year. Furthermore, Volkswagen customers will, for example, also compete in the international TCR series, in which Team Leopard Racing will start as the defending champion, as well as in the inaugural TCR Scandinavia, and the new TCR Italia series. In the car’s debut year, Volkswagen Motorsport delivered more than 20 Golf GTI TCRs to customers. Roughly 30 more cars are expected to be delivered in 2017.