November 27, 2022

They do issues a bit of otherwise in South Africa with regards to motor racing as we try the rear-wheel drive Mk8 VW Golf GTI GTC. 

Function from Efficiency VW journal. Phrases: Chris Eyre. Photographs: Volkswagen Motorsport SA & Stefan Daniël Kotzé.

No matter Volkswagen turned its hand to in motorsport for the previous decade has all been about taking profitable very severely. From the Polo in WRC to World Rallycross to the Pikes Peak and Nürburgring record-breaking ID.R, they’ve blazed a path and left everybody else to choose up the scraps. Over in South Africa, that theme paused unsurprisingly on the finish of the 2019 season – with Jettas profitable their Touring Automobile Championship.

Subsequent step and prime marks then to whichever super-creative designer got here up with this successor Mk8 Golf GTI as a result of it seems to be gorgeous. A fraction of readers will know that this automobile was unveiled in 2020 and but it’s nonetheless completely recent. Mixing company grille-inspired honeycomb livery with blue-hues reminiscent of the VW Motorsport Mk2 Golf previous, spherical arch extensions, the body-coloured profiled chin spoiler and its curves to run the attention, compulsory massive ‘G’ wing – we are able to’t print that phrase anymore – and the large screen-strip telling everybody loud and clear that it is a manufacturer-endorsed company chariot coming in sizzling. What a outcome. Moody, multi-coloured, simmering with mods, pummelling the thoughts with the message that what lies beneath is simply ever going to be critical. With its heavy outward protein bulk up, it seems to be quick standing nonetheless, and even higher on the transfer.

They do issues otherwise at Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa (VWM SA). The Uitenhage/Kariega -based operation within the Japanese Cape has all the time run each Audis and VWs through the years, typically markedly completely different from the Northern Hemisphere norm, borne as ever out of motorsport laws, interwoven with alternate advertising slants. Enjoyable details: the place was the primary five-stud Mk2 Golf created? No, it wasn’t your jammy mate placing fortunate within the ‘90s on the breakers with an early-doors VR6! It was the VWM SA front-wheel drive rally Golf working Ur Audi quattro Fuchs wheels, full with bigger entrance CV joints. Ever heard of the four-wheel drive rally Golf that wasn’t a Rallye? A round-arched 16-valve Mk2 with rod-change syncro transmission working on ITBs? Yep, the deeper you dive, the extra off-beat it will get. In the meantime VWM SA has run a one make Polo Cup collection for 1 / 4 of a century. Who knew?

These within the Europe-USA Northern Hemisphere scarcely get to listen to about all this – it looks like the remainder of the world has no thought what VWM SA will get as much as. So if that units the scene for some really sideways look motoring, settle in as a result of right here for our Mk8 Golf particular difficulty, all isn’t what it appears.


Tin prime Touring Automobile racing all over the world by no means will get previous or fails to place a smile on. VWM SA participated within the premier home International Touring Vehicles (GTC) collection for 4 current seasons with its Jetta mannequin, cleansing up drivers and manufacturing championships in 2019, towards opposition from BMW, Audi and Toyota. On the finish of 2019, the Jetta in South Africa – highway and race – was pensioned off (see field out story), simply because the Mk8 Golf was being launched in Germany. No extra advertising wanted for the Jetta; time to reshuffle the pack.

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So, a brand new automobile was wanted and grand plans had been laid for a 2020 GTC title defence push with this slipperier and compact Mk8 VW Golf GTI GTC. With the Golf 8 not attributable to go on sale in South Africa till Autumn 2021, this World-first Golf Mk8 race automobile would get almost two seasons’ of racing lead up on the native market, solely – fairly clearly – for an interception from the East to place inside combustion engine racing on ice.

So, the Golf you see right here, an evolution of the 2019 championship-winning Jetta GTC, had a tough delivery and as a substitute of the deliberate March 2020 in-person reveal, the delayed ‘simply now’ digital reveal got here in July 2020. To the initiated the true clues of this 500 brake horse energy 2.0-litre turbocharged touring automobile began to floor. What seems to be like an up to date Hannover Golf Mk7 TCR racer couldn’t be farther from actuality. Beneath the pores and skin, after all it has the Golf GTI EA888 engine in it, however the start-point in attempting to find it’s below the windscreen wipers, the place it sits longitudinally with a Garrett GTX3071R Gen II turbo hanging off the aspect. This looker of a Golf is entrance /mid-engined, and blows its gases out of the nearside sill. Dry sumped with Carillo rods and pistons, but commonplace cams, it’s labelled a ‘manufacturing’ spec engine and but for any highway driver, dry sump apart, that’s routine, relatable tuning, as is the Fluidamper on the manufacturing crank minus oil pump drive, plus throwing the balancer shafts system bin-ward. Much less road related is the 110 octane gasoline or the radiator micro water spray system – and from the bell housing backwards, put down the pens and overlook it. It makes use of pure racing components to GTC laws to ship the facility to the rear wheels by way of an Australia-built Albins six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox with paddle shift. Alternator, starter motor, flywheel and clutch are all mounted on the rear axle for weight distribution!

In equity this is identical throughout the grid. Whereas Touring Automobile racing across the World has gone in numerous instructions, whichever the route, the ringmasters have by no means been in a position to re-attain the height black-hole Tremendous Touring spend of twenty years in the past. As a substitute organisers have pursued simplification to get automobiles on grids. This sees a typical chassis idea, working gear, a single Life Racing ECU kind, management tyres, suspension and different parts. The GTC Championship organisers took up the problem to create a ‘revival in South African circuit racing’. To this point so good.

With the bulkhead moved backwards as a result of mid/front-engine place, the motive force is ready again previous the B-pillar – proper hand drive after all – glancing at a totally bespoke carbon partial wrap-round dashboard and OMP Superquadro flat bottomed quick-release suede steering wheel full with pit to automobile radio switches. Behind {that a} Life Racing D5 sprint panel which incorporates knowledge acquisition and offers the motive force the very important engine data, with a Life Racing keypad energy distribution unit console off to the left. A treble roll cage door bar brings a unique method to security from the FIA / European and Stateside norms, while a Tilton pedal field meeting sits not ground mounted, however old fashioned, up behind the sprint.



With wholesale re-work of the Öhlins-damped double-wishbone entrance suspension, the center pedal operates enormous Brembo racing 6-pot entrance and 4-pot front-rear callipers with Sort III larger put on entrance discs for max dash race confidence and minimal time on the gradual pedal, the trailing entrance callipers a certain signal that the steering rack attaches to the entrance of the hub. Centre lock wheels are International Touring Vehicles-spec management objects with championship spec Dunlop 280 / 680 R18 slicks and racing wets. And with centre locks, after all, come in-car air jacks for speedy tyre adjustments.

Velocity to get components on and off racing automobiles is after all central to the entire sport so far as the blokes within the storage are involved and in a cap doff to extra streetable habits, a PWJDM common bumper fast launch equipment sits on every nook.

After which after all is that massive wing. Its measurement and form is outlined, positioned able outlined by the organisers relative to the physique of the Golf. Aluminium stays and spherical joints triangulate it to cease it shifting laterally while staying as gentle as attainable. Bonnet vents, skirts and the widened wheel arches end off the moody music. Massive meshing within the decrease bumper imply boundary layers and so many of the massive gulps are taken by the mid bumper carbon tract and exit by the primary central bonnet duct.


So with that quick meals tech obtain (see tech spec under), it’s not arduous to see that this Mk8 VW Golf GTI GTC will stay in a category of only a few, as a result of it’s going to be fairly powerful going, attempting to copy this quantity! So for the Golf 8 highway automobile tuners and house owners on the market, engine mods apart, this Manufacturing facility racer is a little bit of toughie so far as cross-pollinating modifying concepts goes, not that getting 500 bhp out of a 4 – or 5 – cylinder is information to anybody within the modifying scene. Everybody has a mate or is aware of of somebody with a big-turbo 16-valve, 20vT or TFSI pumping out these form of figures. However relaxation assured regardless of how a lot lighter or track-prepped your mate’s automobile could also be, any theoretical aspect by aspect – they use rolling begins in GTC – can be no contest. With that sequential racing gearbox ratioed for Vmax as shortly as attainable, flat shift, a finely tuned restricted slip diff, plus top-notch suspension, epic weight distribution and 280mm width tyres, it’s not arduous to see why.

Because the clock ticked us by the Pandemic, cheeky check periods apart, the Golfs waited within the workshop till August 2020 to begin for a truncated season run largely behind closed doorways, beginning with a non-GTC collection check outing within the South African Endurance Sequence on the Aldo Scribante racetrack in Port Elizabeth. GTC battle correct lastly commenced correctly on the finish of September at Redstar Raceway in Delmas and with a dream begin: VW manufacturing unit drivers Daniel Rowe took a win-from-pole with Keagan Masters making it a one-two for Volkswagen Motorsport! Liveries don’t win races however they appear nice once they do. By the top of the assembly, Keagan took one other win and the omens had been good when the pair did the identical in October again at Aldo Scribante. Two races proved VW had made a step ahead with this nimbler chassis, however that was no ‘season’– to be filed below ‘unfinished enterprise’ – and what’s extra, VWM SA elected to sit down out the 2021 GTC, contesting alternate excessive profile occasions as a substitute, together with the ever standard Knysna Simola Hillclimb and chosen endurance occasions.

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For 2022 although the Golf 8 might be again in motion in GTC, aiming to carry the championship again to Volkswagen, with present driver Daniel Rowe joined this time by former on-line gamer and Volkswagen Academy driver Jonathan Mogotsi, who steps as much as the five hundred bhp plate from a second-place 2021 end within the same-grid GTC SupaCup supporting collection front-wheel drive VW Polo. The Golf will contest the championship over seven rounds at 5 circuits from March by to October. Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa is trying ahead to this one: “Earlier than the pandemic curtailed the 2020 season, we had been main the championship with Daniel Rowe, so I’m thrilled that we are able to proceed the place we left off”.

The aspect story although isn’t any discuss of hybrid energy trains on this collection. Petrol is the best way ahead in SA, not less than for now. Save the picture. Bottle the fumes.

Tech Spec: VW Golf GTI GTC Mk8


EA888 Gen 3 CJX Golf GTI engine, 82.5mm bore x 92.8mm stroke, Garrett GTX3071R Gen II water and oil cooled turbo (compressor trim 58 A/R 0.60, turbine trim 84  A/R 0.61), aspect exit exhaust, Carillo pistons and rods, compression ratio 9.6:1 (max), chamber quantity 43.5cc (min), inventory cams, uprated valve springs (94 lbs inlet at 36.6mm, 111lbs exhaust at 35.6mm), ARP head studs, dry sump oil system, steadiness shafts eliminated, Fluidamper hydraulic crank vibration damper, long-short inlet tract butterfly system disconnected & splitter blades faraway from inlet ports, micro radiator spraying system, Life Racing ECU calibrated on 110 octane regulation gasoline to a quoted 500 bhp / 600 Nm. 200mm flywheel, Tilton 3 plate, 5.5″ racing clutch, Albins ST6, 6-Velocity sequential transaxle gearbox with Shiftec paddle shift system and plate LSD.


GTC collection centre-lock 18” wheels, 280 / 680 R18 Dunlop slicks and wets, Golf 8 higher bodyshell clothes a WCT Engineering space-frame chassis, double wishbone entrance and rear suspension with inboard cantilever entrance and rear Öhlins dampers, Brembo 380mm Sort III entrance and 240 mm Sort V rear discs with Brembo 6-pot floating entrance callipers and 4-pot rears, fitted with regulation brake pads, cooled by way of 76mm ducting from entrance splitter. Min weight incl driver, c. 1400kg


Three bonnet vents (central duct for angled radiator exit), prolonged entrance bumper with splitter carbon inlet, and canards, Built-in entrance bumper aero to prolonged entrance arches, prolonged rear wheel arches, aspect skirts, Carbon rear wing to regulation measurement and place, PWJDM common bumper fast launch bumpers, 3mm polycarbonate rear aspect door and rear home windows, NACA ducts into rear aspect


Motorsport South Africa compliant roll cage, bespoke light-weight carbon sprint, Life Racing D5 sprint panel and keypad PDU console together with knowledge acquisition (damper motion, steering, GPS velocity, brake stress, coolant stress, gear place, gearbox oil temp, EGT, clutch stress gearbox stress throttle place), Sparco race seat and harness, OMP Superquadro suede steering wheel, Woodwood quick-release hub, Tilton adjustable bias pedal field, Longacre wide-angle inside race mirror, carbon enclosures, air jacks, FEV plumbed in and hand-held hearth extinguisher system

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