We would love for this to be broadcast along with the announcement of the DTM North America coverage!
The ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup starts to the new season with a big anniversary: at the DTM season opener at Hockenheim the 100th race of the “touring car school” is on the agenda. Its successful history started in 1998 with the Lupo Cup.
Like previous years, the eleventh season promises international flair and thrilling racing action: from the opening race at Hockenheim on 13 April until the finale at the same venue on 26 October, ten races will see success-hungry rookies meet with their 13 more experienced rivals. A competition that truly fosters international understanding – in the field of youngsters aged 16 to 24 emerging talent from nine nations will be competing – for example, from Peru, South Africa and Lithuania.
“That the 2008 Polo Cup features an even more international field than before demonstrates the standing which this unique concept has achieved over the past ten years,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “The concept of a racing competition with vehicles that are identical down to every nut and bolt, and which are centrally fielded, has – together with our evaluation process – always assured a high level of driver quality. Therefore, the idea of the ‘touring car school’ is also very successful with offshoots like the Jetta TDI Cup in the USA and has become a real role model for promoting youngsters on an international scale.”
99 plus 1: the tradition of promoting youngsters starts to its 100th race
What started with the VW ADAC Touring Junior Cup and the Lupo celebrates a racing anniversary – after ten exciting years – as the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup. From 1998 to 2007, 99 races were staged as part of the Lupo and Polo Cups, so the 2008 season opener marks the 100th round of the talent incubator. During the ten years of this special programme to promote youngsters approximately 160 drivers completed this basic training for racing before the best of them continued their careers in follow-on categories up to and including the DTM, the World Touring Car Championship or other one-make touring car cup series.
All of these drivers benefited from a tough selection process: talent, not money, has traditionally been the crucial factor of success in the Polo Cup. In addition to the regulations, centrally fielded vehicles, which are identical in every detail and swapped between the drivers after the race weekends, as well as the scheduled rotation of the mechanics servicing the cars assure a maximum equality of opportunity on the technical side. Apart from the inflation pressure of the standard tyres used, only the adjustment of the front stabiliser may be changed on the Racing Polo vehicles.
24 from 9: the drivers’ field made up of an international juniors’ league
The ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup has long established itself as the stepping stone for ascent into higher categories of automobile racing. Drivers from neighbouring countries, and even from other continents, seek their opportunity to win against the competition, thereby proving their skills. As a general rule, drivers are only entitled to contest the Polo Cup for two years, and the champion has to leave the popular one-make cup after the title win. This guarantees that the gaps between the rookies and the more seasoned drivers do not become too large – the extremely small differences between lap times are proof of this every year. In 2008 the field features a diverse mix again: talent from Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Austria, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and the Czech Republic compete against each other in the ten 50-kilometre races. Eleven contenders are eligible to score points in the rookie classification. 13 additional drivers fight against them for points in the overall classification.
10 races on eight weekends
The 2008 season features ten races in the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup. Nine of them are staged as part of the DTM, which in recent years attracted around 80,000 spectators to the races: the traditional season opener and finale at Hockenheim, the Volkswagen “home game” with two races at Oschersleben, the round at the EuroSpeedway as another back-to-back double round, the events at the Norisring and the Nürburgring as well as the only foreign round on the schedule, at Brands Hatch (Great Britain). In addition, one round takes places in conjunction with the ADAC GT Masters at the Sachsenring.
1 versus 23: female power in the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup
After Marleen Seilheimer and Marlene Dietrich challenged their male rivals in the past two years, there is again a young lady in the 2008 ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup competing against an otherwise all-male field. Vivien Volk is making her racing début at her “home race” at Hockenheim, which is located only about 15 kilometres away from her native Speyer.
- Volkswagen Motorsport