Kenney Set for 2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series Sterling, Virginia (April 15, 2008) -- Virginia's Liam Kenney is delighted to announce he will compete in the inaugural Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series in 2008 having been selected as one of...
Kenney Set for 2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series
Sterling, Virginia (April 15, 2008) -- Virginia's Liam Kenney is delighted to announce he will compete in the inaugural Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series in 2008 having been selected as one of the elite group of 30 drivers chosen to race in the innovative new championship created by Volkswagen of America Inc.
The 16-year-old Sterling-resident, entering only his third full-season of auto racing, survived a grueling driver selection process earlier this month at Phoenix's Firebird Raceway where he went head-to-head with some of North America's most promising young racing talents to win one of the coveted seats in the brand-new series -- launching coincidently enough with Round 1in Liam's home territory at the VIRginia International Raceway, 25th-27th April.
Kenney's reward for having been selected is the opportunity to race a factory-prepared and managed 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI from April to October against 29 rivals all aged from 16 to 26. The Jetta's used in the new series are all powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine featuring race-ready suspension and brakes and a six-speed double-clutch automatic DSG transmission. With Volkswagen keen to showcase their technology's green credentials, the manufacturer has also partnered with Carbonfund.org to certify that the entire series is carbon free.
Racing towards a prize of $100,000 for the eventual champion, and an additional $150,000 if they sign a contract with a professional level team within six months of winning the Jetta TDI Cup Series, Liam's looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead as he switches from open-wheel racing, where he claimed numerous wins, podiums and poles in two seasons of competing in the Formula TR Pro Series in 2006 and 2007, into saloon racing for the first time in 2008.
"It's certainly different being in a race car with a roof over your head," commented Kenney on his transition from open-wheel to closed-top racing. "I'd thought with the Jetta being a sedan it might feel slow in comparison to other cars that I've raced but I was really surprised at just how fast it felt, especially under diesel power. The car just ripped around the race track and I had a great time behind the wheel in Phoenix and can't wait to race it in earnest starting later this month.
"Obviously I'm very excited to have been selected to compete in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series. Volkswagen has assembled a first class team and the level of preparation is outstanding - it is a truly professional series. With VW behind it we're going to enjoy great racing, great marketing support and it's good to be associated with the likes of Audi as well -- both companies with some great motorsport programs on the go in North America and Europe. Doing well in this series could lead to any number of possibilities so I'm very happy to go down this route this early in my career."
Liam's on-track credentials bode well as the teenage stand-out is no stranger to successful rookie campaigns. Making his open-wheel racing debut in 2006 in the Formula TR Pro Series 1600 Series, Kenney finished fourth overall with one win from 12 podium finishes. Graduating to the 2000 Series last season, Liam again finished fourth overall, this time earning three wins from 12 podium visits.