04 July 2010 ~ 6 Comments

GTI International 2010

The three letters G, T and I have played an important part in Volkswagen’s history for the past 34 years, and have earned respect from critics and enthusiasts the world over. Huge armies of devoted fans across the globe follow the performance Volkswagens (us at PoloDriver.com included), and events such as GTI International cater for these specific interests. Beginning as a small meeting of Golf GTI enthusiasts in 1988 at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, the ‘UK’s greatest gathering of of VW and Audi enthusiasts’ is now traditionally run at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, Leicestershire over the last weekend in June.

[Click ‘Read More’ below for gallery of pictures at end of post.]

Over those 23 years it’s not been without its problems, but even with numerous changes of venue has managed to keep the GTI faithful largely happy. Organised by Volkswagen Driver and Audi Driver magazines – and therefore the publishers of both titles, Autometrix Publications – we’ve found the event to be lacking a certain something over the past few years. The heady days seemed to be when ‘Inters’ was staged at the Transport Research Laboratory in Crowthorne, Berkshire (yes, we’ve been attending for that long), and while the event is still worth the drive up to the Leicestershire airfield, we – regrettably – can’t help wondering if it holds the cache it once did.

Motorsport-themed activities have always formed the backbone of GTI International, and 2010’s event had the traditional quarter-mile sprint, as well as an autojumble, competition car display, concours, show ‘n’ shine and a trade stand area. Club stands have traditionally been a feature, too, and we were there with our two Polo GT Coupés. Other Polo clubs in attendance included Polo3 and uk-polos.net, although Polos were seemingly in the minority, with performance versions of the Golf still the most popular. With sunny skies and searing temperatures, GTI International was a good day out, but the bad organisation of club stands meant we didn’t get the pitch that we were promised, which has been something of a regular occurrence with recent runnings of the event.

We enjoyed seeing the plethora of Polos on display last weekend, though, with all tastes and most generations catered for. Series 1 cars were notable by their absence, but with standard models rubbing shoulders with modified cars, there was something for everyone, as you can see from our gallery below of metal which appeared on Sunday. If your car is featured and it’s not captioned as such, drop us a line at info@polodriver.com and we’ll do our best to credit the photo in question.

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