The VW Race Driver Search
The recent untimely passing of Gugu Zulu was made even more poignant by the fact that he was on the verge of making his return to circuit racing as a Volkswagen Motorsport driver in a VW Jetta in the new Sasol GTC national saloon car formula.
Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) and Motorsport South Africa (MSA) have partnered in a programme to find the next exciting non-white racing talent to follow in Gugu’s illustrious footsteps. The programme, to be called VW Driver Search will be part funded by the FIA (international controlling body for 4-wheeled motorsport) and will be administered by MSA’s subcontracted training partner, Motorsport Training Africa (MTA).
VW Driver Search will see sixteen (16) non-white candidates, roughly between the ages of 15 and 25 and with at least some motorsport-related experience, being selected to take part in a programme during October 2016 to hone their all-round skills as racing drivers. In addition, the two best performing candidates will benefit from a Volkswagen drive in an appropriate regional racing series. From there, the driver who impresses most out of these two will earn him or herself a Volkswagen factory drive in the 2017 Engen Volkswagen Cup national championship racing series.
Entry to VW Driver Search will be by invitation but, if you or someone you know, meets the criteria, please feel free to forward the relevant details to [email protected] by no later than 26th August 2016 to ensure that he or she is taken into consideration and not perhaps accidently overlooked.
VW Driver Search will be conducted along similar lines to MSA’s recent Motorsport Development Academy (MDA), with the addition of a ‘Clutch and Gears’ module to assist any young karters that may be selected with learning these vital skills. The candidates will then be put through the same MDA process of fitness assessment, practical and theoretical training at the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre and at the Gerotek Test Facility. VW Driver Search will then move into a knockout phase, from which the top eight drivers will return to attend a racetrack shootout.
The shootout process will whittle the field down to four and then two drivers, who will then each take part in a few regional races. The driver who acquits himself or herself best of the two will then become a Volkswagen Motorsport driver in the 2017 Engen Volkswagen Cup.
“The Volkswagen and Audi brands have played a significant role in nurturing black South African racing talent over the years, with the most obvious examples being Tschops Sipuka and the late Gugu Zulu. They were amongst the pioneers in bringing local motorsport to a wider audience and we are excited at the prospect of VW Driver Search revealing the next future stars that will carry on their good work.” – Mike Rowe: Volkswagen South Africa Motorsport Manager
“Volkswagen has been a valued supporter of local motorsport over many years and MSA is thrilled to be able to partner with the company in an initiative that will generate greater interest in motorsport amongst more of the South African population, and therefore contribute greatly to the future sustainability of local motorsport.” – Adrian Scholtz: Motorsport South Africa CEO