Touringcar Racer International SeriesDebut win for Volkswagen Golf – Rosell victorious in Austria
First appearance, first win: The new Volkswagen Golf for the racetrack made its debut in the Touringcar Racer International Series (TCR) and promptly claimed its first victory. The Golf run by cooperation partner Liqui Moly Team Engstler triumphed at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Spain’s Pol Rosell won race two, finishing ahead of his compatriots Pepe Oriola (Seat) and Jordi Gené (Seat). Starting from pole position, Rosell defended his lead until the chequered flag at the 4.318-kilometre Grand Prix circuit. Mikhail Grachev (RUS) came sixth in the second Golf. Rosell finished ninth and Grachev seventh in race one. Victory went to Switzerland’s Stefano Comini (Seat). The racing version in action in Austria is the first such model based on the seventh generation of Volkswagen Golf. The production-based, 330-hp concept car is assembled in accordance with TCR Regulations and is intended to allow Volkswagen to evaluate a possible customer racing programme as of the 2016 season. In order to accelerate the development process, the new Golf will be tested under competitive conditions in the TCR between now and the end of the season. The next races will take place in Singapore from 19 to 20 September, when they will share the bill with the Formula One World Championship.
FIA Formula 3 European ChampionshipGiovinazzi and Pommer win in Zandvoort
The seventh race weekend of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in Zandvoort, Netherlands, ended with a victory for Markus Pommer. This was the first win in Europe’s most important junior racing series for the German and his Motopark team. Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) also had cause for celebration: The Italian won the opening race on Saturday morning and finished runner-up twice to move to the top of the table, leapfrogging ahead of Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing), who had led the championship until race three. The man from Monaco scored just eleven points, courtesy of fifth place in race one, a retirement in race two, and tenth in the third and final race of the weekend on Sunday. Giovinazzi (288 points) now tops the overall standings with a lead of 7.5 points over Leclerc (280.5). George Russell (GB, Carlin, 146) is fifth, Alexander Albon (T, Signature, 132) sixth and Pommer (70) tenth. Race 22, 23 and 24 will be held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, from 31 July to 02 August.
Engen Volkswagen Cup South AfricaRowe and van der Linde triumph – Hodges new championship leader
Daniel Rowe (ZA) and Sheldon van der Linde (ZA) each took their place at the top of the podium on the fourth race weekend of the Engen Volkswagen Cup South Africa in East London (ZA). Rowe won the opening race, ahead of Mathew Hodges (ZA, + 2.982 seconds) and Shaun La Reservee (ZA, + 3.280 seconds). 16-year-old van der Linde damaged his Polo in race one and failed to finish. This was his first retirement of the season. Van der Linde made amends in race two, coming home just ahead of Hodges (+ 0.858 seconds) and Chris Shorter (ZA, + 1.836 seconds) to clinch victory. Two second places were enough for Hodges to secure the top spot in the championship. The South African now has 199 points to his name, putting him one point ahead of van der Linde. The next races will be held at the Zwartkops Raceway (ZA) on 08 August.
Volkswagen Racing Cup UKEpps unbeatable at Spa-Francorchamps
Michael Epps was the man of the weekend: the Brit won races nine and ten of the Volkswagen Racing Cup UK at Spa-Francorchamps (B). In Friday’s opening race, Epps moved into the lead on lap four and never looked back. He crossed the line first in his Volkswagen Golf GTI, ahead of his team-mates Howard Fuller (GB) and Bobby Thompson (GB). In race two on Saturday, Epps fought his way through the field from sixth place on the grid at the iconic Grand Prix circuit. He took the lead with three laps remaining, before coming home to take the chequered flag ahead of Fuller and Lucas Orrock (GB). Races eleven and twelve will take place at Brands Hatch (GB) from 01 to 03 August.
European Volkswagen Fun CupTeam PVI/M3M wins the 25 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
The PVI/M3M team (Van Impe/Bentchikou/Dupassage/Leenders) tasted success in the European Volkswagen Fun Cup. The team with car number 216 won the 25 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (B) ahead of SPI (Illiano/Ferté/Gervoson, + 3:41.871 minutes) and Colson Racing (Crosset/Gressens/Jacquemin/Soulet, + 1 lap). This was the winning team’s second victory at the 25-hour marathon on the “Ardennes Rollercoaster”, having previously triumphed in 2011. In a race dominated by unsettled weather and twelve safety car phases, Van Impe/Bentchikou/Dupassage/Leenders also had the luck needed in such a marathon race: the Colson Racing team, which eventually finished third, led by a whole lap after 24 hours, until Crosset collided with a slower car and dropped back through the field. In total, 99 cars lined up at Spa-Francorchamps, including Fun Cup teams from Belgium, France, Italy and Great Britain.