Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI ready to go racing

Newly built Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI goes racing as SA moves to level 1

Reuben Van Niekerk
Golf 8 GTI
Golf 8 GTI

South Africa’s premier circuit racing series, the Global Touring Cars (GTC) got underway recently which means that Volkswagen’s brand new Golf 8 GTI finally got to show the competition what it is made of.


The series got underway over the weekend of 25 and 26 September at Red Star Raceway.


The locally built Golf GTC racecar is the first Golf 8 race car anywhere in the world to take part in a national championship.


The new car still uses a 2.0 litre EA888 turbocharged engine, but with uprated connecting rods and pistons, which sees it produce approximately 370kW and 600Nm. A specification transaxle sequential gearbox transforms the Golf into a rear wheel drive as per class regulations. Engine management is taken care of by a Life system and stopping power is courtesy of six pot Brembo callipers and 380mm brake rotors.


Volkswagen Motorsport have redeveloped the vehicle based on the upcoming VW Golf 8 GTI inline with the GTC rules. All vehicles, no matter which manufacturer they represent, adhere to the same basic specifications, ensuring competitiveness.


In the GTC series all vehicles have to adhere to strict control measures which feature a common chassis, running gear, a single ECU to control performance, tyres, suspension and other components.


“New features in the Golf 8 GTI racing car include an all-new chrome moly tubular chassis which is much stiffer and approximately 100kg lighter than the previous generation GTC car,” said Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport.


During pre-season testing, the team achieved its goals of ensuring that the new Golf is more powerful, but also lighter and more nimble than the trustworthy Jetta it replaces. As a result both the overall handling and stopping power have been improved which should lead to improved lap times.


The Volkswagen squad from Uitenhage are the defending GTC manufacturers champions while young driver Keagan Masters is the defending driver’s champion.