Volkswagen is testing its new TCR specification Golf in the TCR International Series event in Austria this weekend, with the manufacturer preparing for a “possible customer racing programme in the future”.
The début of the new Golf has been eagerly anticipated since Engstler Motorsport announced their plan to race with the Volkswagen Golf in TCR at the end of 2014.
After a number of delays, the car is now making its début at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, with a pair of Golfs being driven by Pol Rosell and Mikhail Grachev.
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito, who has been a frequent visitor to the TCR paddock earlier this season, praised the TCR concept for its affordability to customer racing teams.
“The newly created TCR category provides a promising platform for customer racing – on a national and international level,” explained Capito. “With exciting races, production-based technology and reasonable costs, it offers a new outlook for private racing teams.
“When developing the Golf-based concept car, we are able to fall back on the resources at Volkswagen. This reduces both development time and costs. We will also use the rest of the season to test the car under competitive conditions and evaluate a possible customer racing project from 2016.”
TCR promoter Marcello Lotti is pleased to see the materialisation of the new car on the grid, bringing the number of manufacturers up to four for the second Austrian event.
“We are obviously very pleased to welcome the Golf TCR,” said Lotti. “I’m sure that the cooperation between Volkswagen Motosport and the Liqui Moly Team Engstler will result in a successful technical development of the car.”
Volkswagen are evaluating a possible customer racing programme with TCR in 2016 and are to race the car in the final four events of the 2015 TCR season in order to accelerate the development of the car.