VW Jetta: Series Road America rounds 7, 8 preview

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Prepares for Rounds 7 & 8 At Historic Road America Rookie Wyatt Gooden Heads to Wisconsin as Championship Points Leader News & Notes: Volkswagen Motorsports Manager, Campbell, on the 2010 Season To Date "The level...

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Prepares for Rounds 7 & 8 At Historic Road America

Rookie Wyatt Gooden Heads to Wisconsin as Championship Points Leader

News & Notes:

Volkswagen Motorsports Manager, Campbell, on the 2010 Season To Date

"The level of talent we've had in this year's Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup has been very impressive," said Clark Campbell, Motorsports Manager, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "This season, we've seen all of the rookies progress at a rapid rate. Furthermore, we have a rookie leading the points Championship with just two event weekends left on the schedule. With results like this, our goal of developing young, up-and-coming talent really becomes apparent. I think we'll see more of the same next weekend at Road America. It's great that we can compete at this historic road course as it's the perfect venue to highlight the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, as well as the benefits of clean diesel technology."

Too Close to Call

Series rookie, Wyatt Gooden, took the points lead at the last Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup event two weeks ago at Autobahn Country Club and is now atop the standings with 190 points. This marks the first time a rookie has led the Championship since the Series' inaugural season in 2008, when all drivers were rookies. Right behind Gooden is another Series rookie, Arie Ouimet, who sits in second place with 182 points. Series veteran, Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle completes the top-three. After leading the Championship after Rounds Three through Five, Sierra Lendle has dropped back to 14 points behind Gooden. Jake Thompson and JD Mobley sit in fourth place (170 points) and fifth (161 points) respectively, and with 60 points available for a win; they could be right back in it by the end of next weekend.

Right now all 25 drivers still have a mathematical chance to win the Championship, so it's anyone's guess how things could look after the dual-race weekend in Elkhart Lake. There are 120 points at stake next week and that could create a large gap should one driver capture them all.

Strategy, Strategy, Strategy...

There are four races left in the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, however, they will be concluded in two two-day events. A situation like this leaves a lot of room for strategy. As it stands at the moment, there are seven drivers within 54 points of first place. Each victory pays 60 points and only the top 20 race finishers receive points, therefore it's definitely possible for one driver to make up some serious ground next weekend in Elkhart Lake.

Furthermore, with two races in the same weekend, each driver must carefully weigh his or her strategy in the first race because if their car is damaged too severely, it might not be repaired in time to compete in the second event. Talk with drivers to see if they will be playing it safe and looking for safe points next weekend, or if they will be shooting for Victory Circle right out of the blocks. A smart, patient driver could end up being the beneficiary of other over-ambitious ones.

Nine Veterans Return to Road America

This season, there are nine drivers returning to the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup from last year, including five drivers who finished in the top-ten at Road America in 2009. Last year, AJ Nealey finished second after starting fifth; Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle finished fifth, Taylor Broekemeier finished seventh, Andrew Novich finished eighth and Ryan Ellis brought his Jetta TDI Cup car home in tenth.

In addition, Andrew Cordeiro, Jake Thompson and JD Mobley finished 11th -- 13th respectively and Juan Pablo Delgado finished 21st. Talk with the drivers to determine how their approach will differ this year after having one race at this challenging road course under their belts.

Virginia Tech students earn their racing stripes with the Jetta TDI Cup

There's no better experience than on-the-job training, which is why nearly 20 engineering students from Virginia Tech University are taking part in the 2010 Jetta TDI Cup season. The Volkswagen Motorsports Jetta TDI Cup program allows Virginia Tech students interested in pursuing a career in motorsports an opportunity to experience it first-hand. The students provide technical support at Volkswagen's race shop at VIR and on the road at the Series' ten race events. During the season, up to fifteen students will travel to each race and work alongside the Series technicians getting hands-on experience with every aspect of motorsports from changing tires to downloading data.

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup program is an ideal way for students interested in a career in motorsports to learn about the industry and it provides them with the advantage of real-world experience before they enter the workplace.

-source: vw

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Andrew Cordeiro , Juan Pablo Lendle , Andrew Novich , Wyatt Gooden , Jake Thompson , Arie Ouimet
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport