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Old 8th April 2019, 02:02   #1
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Default Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT

INTRODUCTION

Celebrations are a requirement, I’m sure you’d agree. Birthdays, anniversaries, milestones, the lot! Such events are celebrated with pastries, assorted beverages, glitter and much fanfare. Volkswagen Motorsport, however, does things a bit differently.

Celebrating 10 years of full-bore standing starts, carving corners, quick pit stops, smelly clutch-packs and worn brake-pads, is Volkswagen Motorsport in 2019.

Such celebrations call for events that make impressions, and VW Motorsport has done just that by showcasing their collection of finely tweaked and honed racecars at their favourite stomping ground – the Madras Motor Race Track:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-1.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-2.jpg

The line-up was promising, with cars ranging from a 'humble' race-specified 1.2 TSI to the full-fat double-cream Polo RX:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-3.jpg

Things only got more interesting as I poked and prodded my way around the pit garage, and I found a bunch of mechanics immersed in a 1.8 TSI motor hanging off a fork-lift / pulley waiting to find its home in the Vento's empty engine bay parked right next to it:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-4.jpg

But before we delve into the celebrations, let’s take a look at how it all started.

HISTORY

Volkswagen has 50 years of motorsport history in various avenues such as the Dakar Rally, single-make cup racing, Formula 3, WRC (World Rally Championship) and even the famed Pikes Peak:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01817.jpg

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Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01819.jpg

Having tasted reasonable success in international motorsport, it’s only natural for a company such as Volkswagen to explore the relatively untapped domestic motorsport scene. Nine years ago, they did exactly that, by fielding several dozen Polos for their one-make racing series at the Auto Expo (New Delhi). 2010 also witnessed India’s first racing series with Volkswagen cars powered by diesel engines. Meanwhile, Aditya Patel took part in the Scirocco R-Cup challenge as part of Volkswagen Germany’s driver-exchange program:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01820.jpg

In 2011, R GmbH was drafted in as the title sponsor for the domestic Cup-Challenge Series. 2011 also marked Volkswagen’s first domestic Polo R-Cup series, the winner of which was flown to Germany to take part in the Scirocco R-Cup series. Volkswagen also took home several motorsport awards for the year:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01821.jpg

Volkswagen upped their game in 2012 by powering their Cup cars with TSI engines mated to DSG transmissions for the first time since their foray into motorsport in India. The year also marked Volkswagen’s venture into the Buddh International Circuit. The following year saw Volkswagen organize a motorsport event that drew over 20,000 spectators, a first for a domestic motorsport event of this scale. It was clear from the crowds that thronged the BIC that the common enthusiast wanted more than a taste of the racing scene, and this prompted Volkswagen to introduce their Customer Sport initiative which allowed customers to participate in National Racing and Rallying Championships. Volkswagen also pressed into service their Vento Cup cars for the first time in the National Racing Championship in the Indian Touring Class (ITC):
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01822.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01824.jpg

In 2014, Volkswagen provided two drivers from the 2013 season opportunities to take part in two international racing championships – the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup Series in Germany and Volkswagen’s Castrol Golf Cup in Poland. The seriousness with which Volkswagen pursued their avenues in motorsport could be seen in the various initiatives they undertook, such as driver development programs that designed customized fitness / driving routines for specific racing drivers. Volkswagen even let their dealers get in on the action, by introducing a Dealers’ Cup series that was eventually integrated into the Polo R-Cup Championship!

2015 and 2016 were relatively quiet years for Volkswagen Motorsport, as they focused on further developing and improving their Vento Cup cars by stiffening the chassis for better handling. The Motorsport division had also partnered with MRF for the 2016 National Racing Championship. The Madras Motor Race Track also welcomed VW’s Motorsport division after a 3-year hiatus.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01825.jpg

Volkswagen Motorsport came back with a bang in 2017, with the introduction of the Ameo Cup cars that were built (and tested) in a record 7 months! The Ameo Cup cars benefitted from 100% local development. 2017 was also the year Volkswagen telecasted the Ameo Cup series in all the countries under the SAARC umbrella. Volkswagen’s brief break-away from regular circuit racing came in 2017 when they won the inaugural Drag Championship with only mildly tweaked drag-spec Ameo Cup cars:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01823.jpg

In 2018, Volkswagen Motorsport’s ITC Vento set the fastest time for "saloon class" around the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. Although a bit late in the day, Volkswagen also began extensively developing a turbocharged engine for rally championships in the domestic circuit:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-dsc01826.jpg

2019 witnesses continued development of VW Motorsport’s ITC Turbo program as well as the Turbo Polo R2 program. The Motorsport division has also scaled up operations for the sale and distribution of their Ameo Cup cars.

Last edited by GTO : 14th April 2019 at 09:22.
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Old 8th April 2019, 02:03   #2
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OVERVIEW

Head of Volkswagen Motorsport, Mr. Shirish Vissa, stated rather candidly that not only would customers have access to the Cup cars through subscriptions and seasonal packages, one could even purchase Cup cars and motorsport hardware for private recreational track days. Whilst a racing season would cost around 10 lakh – inclusive of practice sessions, drivers’ training, consumables and gear, the Cup cars available for purchase would set you back anywhere between 16 lakh to 45 lakh, depending on the number of boxes you tick in the optional equipment list. Tasty options like the sequential transmission and the Motec driver’s display – options that simply cannot be ignored - would drive up the price of these Cup cars. However, Volkswagen Motorsport will extend their support to you by providing you with the necessary consumables and professional assistance for your recreational track days.

Feast your eyes on the sights in and around the pit garage:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-1.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-2.jpg

Vented bonnet, an absolute must in these hot and humid conditions:
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Rear disc-brakes! Something you don't see on a regular Polo or even the GT TSI, sadly:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-4.jpg

Bare-bones interior, just the way it should be:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-5.jpg

Unusual shifter-knob for a DSG:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-6.jpg

Body-hugging race bucket-seats, a must for corner carving:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-7.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-detailedshots1.jpg

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Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-detailedshots3.jpg

Custom wing / rear spoiler fabricated by a specialist who operates not far from VW Motorsport's home:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-detailedshots7.jpg

Forged wheels will soon be available for customers to purchase and use:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-detailedshots11.jpg

Ameo Cup car's cabin is comparatively better appointed than the others:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-detailedshots8.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-detailedshots4.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-detailedshots9.jpg

TRACK EXPERIENCE

Before we ventured out onto the track, a customary briefing session was conducted by the crew, who helped explain the nature of the track and also dropped some useful pointers for some of us amateurs who were getting behind the wheel of a racecar for the first time:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-briefing1.jpg

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We were warned during the driver's briefing and during our sighter-lap, in a Polo GT TDI, that the track can get a little bumpy in places, and that the cars are sensitive to driver input.

With that out of the way, let’s take you through the specifications of the cars in Volkswagen Motorsport’s line-up, and my incredible experiences with each one of them.

Last edited by GTO : 14th April 2019 at 09:08.
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Old 8th April 2019, 02:05   #3
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Volkswagen Polo Cup (TSI):

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7143.jpg

The specifics: Powered by a 1.4 liter, 4-pot petrol engine supplemented by a turbocharger and a supercharger, the Polo (TSI) Cup car puts down about 178 bhp through its front wheels via a 6-speed DSG (wet-clutch) transmission supplemented by a limited-slip differential. Fun fact: This engine is a derivation of the motor that powered the erstwhile Polo (6R) GTI, before Volkswagen shelved it for its hopeless unreliability. Bringing it to a stop from speed would require the services of two massive 334 mm rotors and upgraded brake calipers and brake lines. MacPherson struts with adjustable Sachs dampers paired with stabilizer bars up front and a torsion beam axle coupled with adjustable Sachs dampers at the back help keep the car suspended effectively over sticky tarmac. A free-flow exhaust, flappy paddles on the steering and race-spec ABS are just the right condiments for this spicy little recipe sitting on forged 17” wheels.

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The experience: The exercise of climbing into the cabin through the convoluted roll-cage, plonking my generous posterior low into the bucket seat and fastening the 4-way race-harness, was a gentle reminder that I need to hit the gym more frequently and watch my calorie intake. But my calorie consumption woes were forgotten the moment I fired the thing up. Boy do these free-flow exhausts make a racket! I allowed the car to idle for a bit, whilst I absorbed the Cup car’s cabin, or the lack thereof! The expanse of bare and uncarpeted metal really puts things into perspective, if the raucous exhaust note hasn’t already.

This was my first time in an actual proper racecar, and none of the literature I had read was sufficient to prepare me for what ensued, as I selected ‘D’, eased off the brake pedal and crept out of the pit garage and into the pit lane. The car was raring to go and clearly did not like being restricted to its 1st gear. Pulling the right paddle and selecting 2nd made me realize just how smooth the DSG in my Polo GT TSI back home is. This thing literally slams into the next gear in a manner that would make me believe that such an event in my GT TSI back home would leave me wondering if I’d left the gearbox behind at the traffic lights! Riddled with vibrations and mechanical noises, and accompanied by a violent gearshift, this car is aggressive and it makes no bones about it!

Nervously, I held back and waited for the pilot car to take the lead and joined the convoy of journalists as I threaded my way through the race track. Each little prod on the throttle, each pull of the flappy paddles, every corner I’d negotiated and every kerb I’d mounted, was an assault on the senses. The constant mechanical clanking and vibrations through the steering and pedal box only added to the experience. It was a darn-right riot, this car! And just as I was getting the hang of it, I had to pull the car into the pit lane and jump into the next one.

Volkswagen Polo R-Cup (TDI):

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7152.jpg

The specifics: Based on the punchy 1.6 TDI mill that does duty on the erstwhile Polo GT TDI (1.6), this engine has been massaged to churn out a healthy 128 bhp. Driven by the front wheels via a tweaked 6-speed manual transmission and an open differential, the R-Cup TDI’s maximum torque is rated at 250 Nm and peaks at just 1,500 rpm. With similar hardware to the TSI Cup car (chassis and brakes), the R-Cup TDI is every bit as capable as the TSI around a tight and twisty track.

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Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7155.jpg

The experience: The prospect of driving a diesel car around a circuit wasn’t too appealing, considering that I’d had my eye on a delicious looking Vento TSI parked in the pit garage. But I was egged on by Karan, one of VW Motorsport’s development drivers, to try it out in order to cure any misconceptions that stem from an engine that drinks the dirty stuff. Karan suggested that the diesel car is setup to be a touch tail-happy and urged me to try it out. And try it, I did! The TDI’s clutch, as I rolled onto the pit lane, felt a bit heavy, but the manual gearbox was slick as ever, as I swapped a few cogs getting out of the pit lane and onto the track. The vibrations felt similar to the TSI Cup car, but the racket the engine made was enough to conclude that this diesel was simply not refined enough for any sort of commute, other than for a spin around this track perhaps.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7156.jpg

The steering was lively and the car felt darty as I threw it around the first bend and proceeded to find the racing line by following the pilot car. Being a manual, I’d decided to give heeling-and-toeing a whirl. And I’d succeeded despite the tricky pedal placement and awkward co-relation between the A and B pedals. Left foot braking, however, didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, as I quickly ran out of talent whilst negotiating the 5th corner. The engine felt punchy though, and the power delivery was rather violent for a noisy 4-cylinder diesel. Oh, and Karan was right! The TDI Cup car felt playful 'round the corners and was ready to step out of its line when called for.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7157.jpg

Having barely explored this car’s limits by the end of the 2nd lap, we were pulled into the pit lane and I crawled out of the car, only to be greeted with the keys to an Ameo TSI Cup car!

Last edited by GTO : 14th April 2019 at 09:11.
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Volkswagen Ameo TSI Cup Car:

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7128.jpg

The specifics: Powering the Ameo TSI Cup Car is an iteration of the Polo (6C) GTI’s 1.8 TSI mill, tuned to produce about 202 bhp and 320 Nm of peak torque. A Motec engine management system has been used to develop the engine characteristics in-house, and a lightened flywheel helps the engine rev more freely to the redline. To change gears, a sequential gearbox controlled via flappy paddles on the steering is employed. Other hardware includes race-spec two-way adjustable KW coilovers and gigantic 334 mm self-ventilating discs up front paired with 232 mm discs at the back. For enhanced mechanical grip, Volkswagen Motorsport has identified a spoiler specialist who supplies these DTM-like rear wings according to the specifications as requested.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7130.jpg

The experience: In a word – EXPLOSIVE! Coming from the 1.4 petrol and 1.6 diesel powered racecars, the Ameo Cup car is in a league of its own! The vibrations and mechanical sounds are amplified beyond reason, the gearshifts are violent enough to leave you with a mild sprain, and the car lunges forward if you so much as happen to breathe on the A-pedal! It’s a beast, this thing, but it’s not as intimidating as the mechanical noises may seem to suggest.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7133.jpg

The Ameo Cup car is very chuck-able, and almost instinctive in its response to throttle and steering input. The front end bites hard under braking and strong acceleration whilst the rear skips ever so slightly over the kerbs. The lightning-quick gearshift will jerk you awake if the straight line speed of the thing hadn’t invariably given you a blackout. This thing is mental quick, and if the visceral sensation of being squeezed into the bucket seat, and the helmet dripping with your sweat severely restricting your visibility, isn’t enough to get your jollies in a racecar such as the Ameo Cup car, then you my friend, need urgent psychiatric help. It’s a wild ride, the Ameo Cup. Nothing quite like anything I have experienced. It feels like a rabid hot hatch at the raggedy edge of its limits. A true racecar if there ever was one, I suppose.

Volkswagen Vento ITC (Indian Touring Car):

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7205.jpg

The specifics: The ITC’s mechanicals are a thing of beauty. It’s powered by a 212 bhp 1.8 liter turbocharged petrol engine not too dissimilar from the one that powers the Octavia 1.8 TSI that my father drives back home, albeit with several modifications to keep it in compliance with FIA and ITC Championship regulations. Mated to a 6-speed sequential race-box and clutch along with a limited slip differential to help keep things in check, the ITC Vento can be had with either a quintessentially tall mechanical shifter or a friendlier looking and more approachable flappy paddle setup, with which you can swap cogs. With MacPherson Struts up front, a set of two-way adjustable KW race coilovers all-round, and a 3-way adjustable stabilizer bar, the Vento ITC was more than equipped to handle most racetracks. Stopping power comes from 334 mm self-ventilating discs up front, 232 mm discs at the back, and upgraded calipers to chop down on them. There’s no doubt that the car would stop on a dime.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7206.jpg

The experience: Having never driven a car equipped with a sequential transmission + mechanical shifter before, I’d bravely decided to try out the ITC Vento with the mechanical shifter. Firing it up, via a toggle switch and a little inconspicuous green button on a dodgy looking panel mounted on the dashboard, sent vibrations throughout the barren cabin and into my spine. As I sat there absorbing the vibrations and my surroundings, I’d noticed the roll cage piping eating straight through and into the speaker housing on the door panel – a sight that sent a little chill down my neck – as I’d embarked on this fruitless endeavour to examine the chopped up interior trim and declare, in true journalistic fashion, that the general fit and finish levels are below par.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7209.jpg

Once I was done running the interior with a fine tooth comb for other finish related issues, I was ready to get a move on, but I’d hopelessly stalled the car in front of Volkswagen Motorsport royalty and other journalists. To put me out of my misery after witnessing several failed starts, Mr. Shirish Vissa walked over to the driver’s door and suggested that I give it about 2.5k revs and thereafter dump the clutch. Doing so resulted in an embarrassingly awkward yet successful leap forward into motion.

Once in motion, the car seemed to cry and beg for a shift-up from 1st to 2nd, and I had to comply lest my eardrums begin to bleed with the absolute racket the engine and exhaust were making. Changing up from 1st to 2nd seemed like the most surreal experience in the moment, as the engine stopped crying for a fraction of a second, and the car snapped into gear with the ferocity of a large shovel being used to smack the back of my seat.

With every gearshift thereafter, the car felt like it was smacking itself into a whole other world! Every ratio felt like two levels up from the last! I could drop the customary cliche of the-gearshift-action-feeling-like-reloading-a-rifle, but I'd rather not. Whilst in motion and in between gears, the distinctly deafening cacophony of whines from the gearbox and the outrageous exhaust note was only partially muted by hard braking into the corners, as I carved my way around the track, right behind the pilot car. Being blessed with a longer wheelbase than the Polo and Ameo, the added length was immediately noticeable, as the car felt more composed and sorted around certain faster bends and one particularly bumpy section of the track. Having found new confidence from threading this car through the corners and having now understood the flow of the track, I was close at the heels of the pilot car driven by Karan, who was struggling to shake me off, when a catastrophically loud and very red message appeared on the Motec display indicating that the car’s engine temperature is running dangerously high. This unfortunate mid-corner development put the car into limp-home mode as I pulled into the pit lane a few corners later.

The disappointment on my face was quite clear, apparently, and the chaps at VW Motorsport went into resolution mode as they immediately handed over the keys to another Vento ITC that was nearly identical to the last one, but this car was equipped with paddle-shifts instead of the mechanical shifter. Excited, I jumped into this one with the same grace and poise as I did the last 3 cars, and I buckled myself with the race-harness like the expert that I’d become, after a bit of assistance from the pit crew of course.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7211.jpg

As I’d pulled out of the pit lane, it had become increasingly apparent that the cars were identical, except that the flappy paddles made life a lot easier behind the wheel as I wasn’t required to take my hand off the steering in order to snap the car into gear and my spine out of alignment - I have paddles for that now!

Again, I was prepared to get hot on the heels of the pilot car, but Karan was aware of my new-found confidence and had widened the gap by starting off early from the pit lane. I spent the rest of the lap playing catch up. Perhaps, had I been more committed to the throttle and brakes, I would have had him by the end of the second lap. But alas, I’d rolled into the pit lane, as directed by the crew, and finally came to a screechy halt, courtesy the race-spec brake pads.

Last edited by GTO : 14th April 2019 at 09:15.
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Volkswagen Polo RX “Winter Project”:

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-_dsc5400.jpg

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The specifics: A true Frankenstein car that jogs the memory of cars like the mid-engine Renault Clio V6 and Volkswagen’s very own freak-show, the Golf GTI W12 from 2007. The Polo RX Winter Project is a car developed by Volkswagen Motorsport as a 10th birthday gift that they’ve presented to themselves. Unveiled to the world this March, the Polo RX is powered by the same 1.8 TSI that does duty in both, the Ameo Cup and the Vento ITC. This engine is nestled above and towards the rear of the rear axle, and it powers the rear wheels exclusively via a similar sequential transmission borrowed from the Ameo Cup car. The suspension and brakes are also similar to what’s found in the Ameo Cup car, albeit tweaked specifically keeping in mind the rear weight bias. The engine bay up front is now home to the petrol tank and the battery, along with other mechanicals in order for the car to benefit from some semblance of balance in weight between the axles. The rear doors are sealed with cut-outs on either side of the car to help feed air into the engine bay and intake. The intercooler sits where the fuel tank used to be, when the car was once upon a time a humble Polo. From inception to reality in just three weeks, the Polo RX is truly an anomaly, and the VW Motorsport crew has stated candidly that the RX may be available for sale in the foreseeable future.

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Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-_dsc5406.jpg

The experience: Nothing quite prepares you for the experience that is the Polo RX. For the right reasons, I wasn’t handed the keys to this car. As you would imagine, the car is still in its developmental stage and is not ready for an ordinary civilian to even attempt to drive it around a race track without the impending threat to life and limb. Therefore, I slipped into the passenger seat and got cosy for my hot lap around the MMRT.

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Karan jumped into the driver’s seat and thumbed a switch on the dashboard, starting not an engine, but what appeared to be some sort of localized volcanic eruption behind my ears. And now, I was riding shotgun in this seemingly on-going geological event as the whole car trembled on the move, buzzing and vibrating so hard that I genuinely feared for the longevity of the engine mounts. Just as we exited the pit lane, I held on for dear life as Karan threw it into the first corner with a sense of disdain.

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OMP wheel straight out of the ITC Touring car:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-_dsc5503.jpg

Gorgeous dashboard hardware and Motec display, for the true racecar experience:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-_dsc5510.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-_dsc5513.jpg

All subsequent corners and bends thereafter were spent by me, trying to scream out of fear and excitement, and hopelessly failing, as my throat was parched and my pants were wet, go figure! Even Karan was found wrestling the steering and the car around certain portions of the track, cementing my observation that the car’s chassis needs work in order to cope with the new weight dynamics and driven wheels. Remember, with power now going exclusively to the rear wheels, the front wheels are free to do steering duties exclusively. And with the engine sitting on the rear axle, all the weight and traction is at the back. Going too hot into a corner or lifting off mid-corner would be catastrophic. Thus, you will need to be supremely skilled and also equipped with melon-sized cojones to be able to successfully drive this car fast around a race track.

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-img_7066.jpg

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And here are some of the details of the RX that VW hasn't shown us in their press photographs:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-7.jpg

Vents on the rear doors and boot lid, for intake and cooling:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-8.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-9.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-10.jpg

The engine bay is used to house the fuel tank, amongst other things, in a bid to attain good weight distribution:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-11.jpg

Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-12.jpg

Exhaust pipe routed through the center (offset) of the rear bumper:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-14.jpg

This ain't no DSG, mate! :
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-18.jpg

Interior door panel 'improvised' to accommodate the roll cage:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-19.jpg

The VW Motorsport crew constantly poking around the RX:
Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT-21.jpg

SIGNING OFF

Having completed 14 laps ‘round the MMRT in 4 different racecars in the grueling heat and humidity, I was thoroughly spent. As I had no interest in taking part in wet t-shirt contests for the fear of losing, I grabbed a change of clothes and demolished 10 water bottles before my head stopped spinning from that heady mix of engines running rich and singed rubber on hot tarmac.

But I wasn’t satiated just yet, as I found a chair inside the pit garage facing the pit lane to watch the proceedings as a silent spectator, soaking in the sights and the sounds of the track and occasionally getting up to walk around some of the cars, taking in as many details as my faculties would permit before we wind up for the day.

Starting off with the 1.4 TSI and finishing it off with a Vento Touring car and then rounding it off with the astonishingly bonkers Polo RX was the perfect way to start the summer of 2019 and celebrate 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport in India.

Disclaimer: VW invited Team-BHP for the track day. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 14th April 2019 at 09:33.
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Old 14th April 2019, 09:30   #6
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Default Re: Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorsports Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th April 2019, 15:51   #7
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Default Re: Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT

Hi Suhas,

Nice thread. Glad you put it out

Knew VW Team (Sirish, Reyo and Karn) were on to something new, didn't realise it was this. Should've guessed, as the MMSC Rally Cross (RX) track is now ready (almost).

I just returned after Marshaling at the FIA WRX Championships Round 1 at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

Thought it wouldn't be considered a hijack to post few youtube videos of that here to give an idea of what RX is all about.








These WRX cars are reportedly churning out 500+ BHP giving it a weight to power ratio which is even higher or closer to F1 cars

Was a treat to watch them in action.

Hope to see Polo RX in action soon in a brand new Race series in India, believe me its an interesting series, with never a dull moment on the track

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram

Last edited by ajmat : 15th April 2019 at 10:56. Reason: typo
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Old 15th April 2019, 10:58   #8
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Default Re: Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT

Nice article, lovely memories of the Ameo Cup Race which I participated in. If I found two days was not enough, so much to learn and co-ordinate, half a day on the track with many versions must have thrown you each time!

Hope you were violent on the steering!
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Old 15th April 2019, 16:36   #9
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Default Re: Celebrating 10 years of Volkswagen Motorsport - Driving VW's Race Cars at the MMRT

Well, Those VW cars wrapped in those smokey hot stickers are surely a head turner for sure. Being a VW owner, i once wanted to get these stickers done on my Vento but then didn't find anyone who could do justice to the car and now i am on the verge of selling it so thought against it.

I once had the opportunity to get into a VW stunt car at Buddh International circuit outside the race track and believe me, i was blown away with the specially tuned VW performance cars. The adrenaline rush i felt was something out of this world.
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