Golf GTI TCR lines up at second home outing in China

Golf GTI TCR lines up at second home outing in China

09.09.2019: WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup • Round seven of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at Ningbo International Speedpark heralds a run of four races in Asia

WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup



•    Round seven of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at Ningbo International Speedpark heralds a run of four races in Asia


•    Technically demanding circuit offers many overtaking opportunities


•    Volkswagen customer team Sébastien Loeb Racing fields two Ningbo aficionados and two Ningbo newcomers in the Golf GTI TCR




After one trip to Africa and five outings in Europe, the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup now enters the crucial phase of the season with four races at the other side of the world, in Asia. The “WTCR Race of China” (13 to 15 September 2019) in the port of Ningbo heralds the overseas leg for the series, which will then travel to Suzuka/Japan and Macau/China, before the grand finale in Sepang/Malaysia.



Volkswagen customer team Sébastien Loeb Racing will field four 250-kW (340-PS) Golf GTI TCR in Ningbo, with drivers Mehdi Bennani (MA), Rob Huff (GB), Johan Kristoffersson (S) and Benjamin Leuchter (D) at the wheel.



“Together with the race at the Nürburgring, the WTCR race in China is virtually a second home race for Volkswagen. Not only is China the most important global market for the Volkswagen brand, but Volkswagen has also enjoyed great motorsport success in China – from the Formula 3 Grand Prix in Macau to the record-breaking run with the electric ID.R race car on Tianmen Mountain. Sébastien Loeb Racing showed last year that the Golf GTI TCR is competitive in Ningbo,” says Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director.



The International Speedpark is located near the city of Ningbo on the China Sea, with its population of roughly six million, and hosts a round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup for the second time. The 4.010-kilometre circuit is regarded as being very demanding for the drivers and offers many overtaking opportunities. Mehdi Bennani finished runner-up in the Golf GTI TCR in last year’s WTCR race.




Sébastien Loeb Racing driver Rob Huff takes on the role of “driving instructor” for talented Chinese


China is also something of a second home for Sébastien Loeb Racing driver Rob Huff. “I spend three to four months a year in China,” says the Brit, who has won the famous touring car Grand Prix in the Chinese special administrative zone of Macau on four occasions, and has also made guest starts in the national touring car championship.



 Huff is held in high regard by the local motorsport fans, and these days passes on his experience to young Chinese drivers at special racing driver schools. “I have the chance to support motorsport in China, and am only too happy to take that opportunity.”



Like team-mate Mehdi Bennani, Huff knows the racetrack in Ningbo from the WTCC – FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2017 and the three WTCR races held there last year. In contrast, WTCR newcomers Johan Kristoffersson and Benjamin Leuchter will be making their Ningbo debuts when they line up there in the Golf GTI TCR this weekend.



Huff’s advice for his Swedish and German team-mates: “The circuit has a whole sequence of s-bends. It is important in each of these to take the ideal racing line in the first corner, in order to set yourself up for the second bend. The key is the speed, with which you exit the second corner.”




 


Andre Dietzel, photos Volkswagen

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09.09.2019 / MaP

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