Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup returns to Mosport Three Canadian drivers look for success in their home country Six races into the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup season, there is one driver that everyone has their sights on--Timmy Megenbier.
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup returns to Mosport
Three Canadian drivers look for success in their home country
Six races into the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup season, there is one driver that everyone has their sights on--Timmy Megenbier. With only four races left in the season, the Melrose Park native and series points leader will be the target of the 23 other drivers when they head to the 10-turn, 2.459-mile course at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario. This is the series' only visit to Canada this season, and it will be the second time that the clean diesel, factory racing series has competed on the circuit.
With the exception of the second race at VIRginia International Raceway, Megenbier has had a tremendous season. In six races, he has three wins, two poles and five podium finishes that has have given him a 25-point lead in the Championship over Andy Lee and Joey Atterbury who are tied for second. If it weren't for a post-race penalty that Megenbier incurred after his win at the last race at Road America, he would have been looking at a 50-point margin. After the podium celebration had concluded, Megenbier was informed that he would be penalized 30 points for illegally blocking the progress of Lee in the closing laps of the race. Lee also was penalized 5 points for actions during the race, which cost the Maricopa, Arizona, native an outright claim on second place in the standings.
"With the exception of our second race, 2009 has been a dream season for me," Megenbier said. "Last year, it seemed that I couldn't finish a race, and this year, it seems like I can do nothing wrong. It's pretty amazing how a year and a more mental approach to racing have changed things. The penalty was obviously a big disappointment for me. But instead of complaining about it, I'm going to use it as motivation to go out there and build on my lead at Mosport."
The Jetta TDI Cup made its first visit to Mosport in 2008 for the second of eight races in its inaugural season. The race was won by David Jurca who has moved on in other motorsports pursuits. Of the top five drivers in points standings, only Megenbier and Lee competed at Mosport with the series in 2008 with Lee coming in seventh and Megenbier 14th. However, both are hoping a trip to the podium at Mosport is in their future.
"Road America was rather frustrating for me, because I was so close to my second win of the season," Lee said. "So, I want to redeem myself at Mosport and close the gap between Timmy and me in the Championship. Mosport is a really fast track with a lot of elevation changes and blind corners that make it quite challenging. However, even though I didn't finish quite as high as I would have liked last year, I set the fastest lap of the race and gained eight positions, so I have high expectations that I'll be able to perform well this year."
While Megenbier and Lee have a year of experience in the series, two rookies are trying to give them a run for their money. Atterbury and Jake Thompson both have seen the top of the podium this season and are currently second (tied) and fourth respectively. For Thompson, it will be his only chance to compete in his native land during the 2009 season.
"I've raced at Mosport but only in karts, so this will be my first time on the main circuit," Thompson said. "I'm definitely looking forward to racing there, as I'll have a lot of family and friends in attendance. Hopefully, I'll also be able to pick up a few fans who like to cheer for Canadian drivers."
Series boasts three Canadian drivers
While American competitors make up a majority of the series, three Canadian drivers are out to make a name for themselves in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup.
The trio is led by the 2004 Canadian National Karting Champion, Jake Thompson, who won the second race of the season at VIRginia International Raceway despite not having previously competed in any form of sports car racing. Undeterred by his lack of experience racing cars, the Calgary, Alberta-native has racked up one win, one pole position, four top-five finishes, 12 laps led and is currently fourth in the Championship standings.
Thompson is joined in the series by fellow Canadians, Andrew Cordeiro of Woodbridge, Ontario and David Richert of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Both competed in the series in 2008 and have returned for another try at the Championship. Despite a slow start to the season, Cordeiro has come on strong as of late with two top-five finishes and has made a steady rise in the standings to 10th. Not just a Volkswagen racer, Cordeiro is also a brand enthusiast, whose garage boasts six Volkswagens, including a 1975 Scirocco R32, a 1982 Rabbit Pickup TDI, a 1984 1.7 Rabbit L, a 1998 Beetle TDI, a 2001 Beetle Sport 1.8T and a 2006 Jetta TDI Wagon.
"I am car nut, but I grew up around Volkswagens, so the brand has been in my blood since I was young," Cordeiro said. "Volkswagens are really fun cars to drive, and my familiarity with how the cars perform has been very helpful in driving the Jetta TDI racecar. Being able to race in a Volkswagen-factory series has been a dream come true for me. My affinity for the brand really made it easy for me to dedicate my time and resources to developing my racing skills in such a cool series."
Richert has been a steady performer this season and is currently 18th in the Championship, but some of his best work may be off the track. This season, he has partnered with Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization. For every minute that Richert is on track racing during the season, $20 will be donated to building BioSand Water Filter units in parts of the world where the people don't have access to clean water.
There's green racing, and there's the Jetta TDI Cup --Truly green racing