VW Jetta: Series Utah round three preview

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Makes its First Visit to Miller Motorsports Park Syndiesel B5 biodiesel blend powers the series in 2009 Race Information 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup -- Round 3 Circuit: Miller Motorsports Park -- Tooele, UT (West ...

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Makes its First Visit to Miller Motorsports Park
Syndiesel B5 biodiesel blend powers the series in 2009

Race Information
2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup -- Round 3

Circuit: Miller Motorsports Park -- Tooele, UT (West Course -- 10 Turns, 2.183 miles)

Date/Time: Practice/Qualifying -- Saturday, May 16 at 11:20 am MT / 5:10 pm MT

Race - Sunday, May 17 at 9:10 am MT
Race Length: 30 minutes

About the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup

The 2009 season marks the second year of competition for the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series. During the season, young, up and coming drivers (between ages 16-26) will compete in ten events on eight road courses around North America in identical factory-prepared clean diesel Jetta TDIs. Each driver competing in the series will earn a Pro Racing license from SCCA at the conclusion of the season. In addition, the series champion will win $100,000.

The Jetta TDI Cup car is powered by a 2.0-liter, 170 hp, four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine mated to a six-speed, double-clutch, automatic DSG transmission. The car is only slightly modified from stock with Pirelli racing tires, race suspension and brake components, drivers racing safety seat, FIA roll cage and an on-board fire extinguisher system. Series sponsors include: Pirelli, Bosch, ViON, Castrol, Oakley, Red Bull, HYPERFUELS, Aggreko, defNder, Lamin-X, Meguiar's, Safety-Kleen, Ringer Gloves, Jim Russell Racing School and Trellis Earth.

What sets the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup apart from other racing series?

* The series is the only clean diesel racing series in the United States, and Volkswagen is the only auto manufacturer participating in motorsports full time with diesel powered cars.

* The TDI (turbo direct injection) engine technology improves fuel economy over gasoline engines and reduces sooty emissions by 95 percent, even under demanding race conditions. The series will consume approximately two tanks of fuel during races this season.

* The Jetta TDI Cup features a product that consumers can buy at their local dealerships.

* Cars are maintained by Volkswagen of America, which creates a level playing field for all drivers.

News & Notes:

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup took the green flag on its season during Rounds 1 & 2 at VIR

Heading into the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup season, eight drivers had previous experience in the series. However, it was two rookies coming out on top in the season's first two races during a doubleheader weekend at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) on April 25 and 26. In the first race, pole sitter, Joey Atterbury of Renton, Wash. claimed victory after leading eight of 14 laps.

"The first event at VIR was obviously a great race for me, but it was also very challenging because of the heat that we encountered. However, the Pirelli tires held up really well, and gave us some excellent grip," said Atterbury. "AJ Nealey, myself and Jake Thompson had some great battles for the lead, and I think that we were able to put on a great show for the fans at VIR."

In the second race at VIR, Vancouver's Jake Thompson took the checkered flag. Thompson took the lead on lap three and held on for the final 12 laps of the race despite constant pressure from returning driver, Mark Pombo.

"I've competed in karting for many years, but this is my first experience in cars, so to get a win in only my second race of the season is fantastic," said Thompson. "I'm really glad that I landed in the Jetta TDI Cup because the emphasis that the series puts on driver development will hopefully help me to continue to grow in my racing career."

Thompson looks to continue his success

Jake Thompson has been competing in the karting ranks since age 13, but 2009 marks his first experience racing cars. He began his career with the Calgary Kart Racing Club and soon found himself racing across North America in the prestigious Stars of Karting series. In 2004, Thompson won the Canadian National Karting Championship.

He then took a break from his racing career to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Thompson received his degree in 2007, and with school behind him, he is looking forward to his first season competing in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup.

The 2009 season has started off just the way Thompson had hoped, with him placing in the top 10 in both races at VIR and claiming victory in the second race. He also has led a series high 12 laps and had the fastest lap during the first race at VIR.

"I've spent the past few years working at an environmental services company to save money in order to put together a serious effort toward a professional racing career," said Thompson. "I raced with David Jurca (2008 Jetta TDI Cup driver) in my karting days, so I followed him during his season last year, which is how I learned of the series. After learning more about it, I recognized that this series provides an excellent starting point for drivers to get into professional racing. My goal is to win the championship in this series and continue climbing through the ranks until one day I'm able to realize my dream of competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

Syndiesel B5 biodiesel blend powers the series in 2009

After first introducing its clean diesel technology on the race track in 2008, Volkswagen is using a Syndiesel B5 biodiesel blend provided by Houston-based HYPERFUELS to power its race cars and B20 biodiesel blends for its transport vehicles and generators during the 2009 Jetta TDI Cup season. Syndiesell B5 is a blend of 5% biodiesel and 95% synthetic diesel fuel. The SynDiesel B5 provides a winning combination of benefits, offering the highest cetane rating of any diesel fuel on the market today and 20% more BTUs than conventional diesel, with the added benefits of increased lubrication and significantly reduced emissions from the domestically produced, renewable biodiesel component.

Performance testing has proven that diesel powered vehicles offer more low-end torque than traditional gasoline engines, providing quicker off-the-line acceleration that's well suited for the race track. In addition, the Jetta TDI engine's use of a "common rail" direct injection system improves fuel economy over gasoline engines and reduces sooty emissions by 95 percent, even under demanding race conditions. During the 2009 season, the Jetta TDI Cup cars will consume approximately two tanks of blended biodiesel during race conditions and overall carbon emissions produced by the series will be reduced by 33,760 pounds as a result of the new fuels.

Jetta TDI named "Green Car of the Year"

The 2009 Jetta TDI clean diesel was recently named the 2009 "Green Car of the Year0x00ae" by Green Car Journal. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Jetta TDI at an economical 30 mpg City, and 41 mpg Highway. Volkswagen went a step further to evaluate the real world fuel economy of the Jetta TDI. Leading third-party certifier, AMCI, tested the Jetta TDI and found it performed 24 percent better in real world conditions, achieving 38 mpg in the City and 44 mpg on the Highway.

"The Volkswagen Jetta TDI rose to the top as Green Car Journal's 2009 "Green Car of the Year" for some very important reasons," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. "Hybrids have dominated the discussion of environmentally positive vehicles in recent years. The highly fuel efficient, 50 state emissions certified Jetta TDI shows that advanced clean diesel has arrived and is poised to change this dynamic. With its affordable price point, refined ride and handling, and high fuel economy, the Jetta TDI shows that hybrids now have a strong competitor in the marketplace."

Series strives to develop young driver talent at a great value

It's no secret that professional auto racing is one of the most expensive sports to compete in. However, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup strives to maintain a low cost of entry for its drivers, while assuring a level playing field with its company-maintained fleet of racecars. Participants contribute $45,000 through personal sponsorships or other funding to compete in the series for the entire season, which includes all expenses except travel and accident damage charges.

Unlike some series that follow an arrive-and-drive formula, Volkswagen takes its role in driver development very seriously. Series officials and instructors work with the competitors on and off the track at each race event to develop their skills. Each weekend, the drivers are involved in technical debrief sessions where car data from top competitors is analyzed and shared among the entire field so that areas of individual improvement may be identified. The series also provides driver coaching in areas such as marketing and public relations and welcomes guest speakers involved in various aspects of the motorsports business to share their insight and advice on young driver career development.

"Volkswagen has worked extremely hard to make this series a great value for the participating drivers while assuring that there's a great deal of parity among the cars. The on-track results really come down to driver skill, which unfortunately isn't the case in all forms of motorsports," said driver, Mark Pombo.

Drivers with past experience at Miller Motorsports Park

Three Jetta TDI Cup drivers have competed at Miller Motorsports Park in the past:

* JD Mobley (Castle Rock, CO) -- Last year, Mobley competed in five Mustang Challenge events at Miller, claiming one win, two second-place finishes and four pole positions. He sites Miller Motorsports Park as his favorite track.

* Perry Richardson (Los Gatos, CA) -- Richardson has competed in a SCCA DSR class event in 2008 at Miller where he finished sixth.

* Nicky Boulle (Dallas, TX) -- Boulle has competed in several karting events at Miller. In 2008, he finished eighth in two races in the Pro Shifter class and finished fourth in two races in ICA class in 2007.

Volkswagen's Campbell pleased with the results of the first two races

"The inaugural race weekend of the Jetta TDI Cup absolutely proved our concept that Volkswagen clean diesel technology, young drivers and a top-level crew produces some of the best racing available anywhere in North America," said Clark Campbell, Motorsport Manager, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "If the talent level displayed at VIR is any indication as to how the rest of the season is going to go, it's going to be a very exciting sophomore season."

-credit: Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Mark Pombo , Joey Atterbury , Jake Thompson