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21 April 2020 ~ 0 Comments

RacingLine releases turbo inlet kit and high-flow filter for Polo 1.0 TSI

RacingLine 1.0 TSI turbo inlet kit

RacingLine Performance has announced details of its new turbo inlet and high-flow filter specially developed for recent Volkswagen Group models fitted with a 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine. The performance components will fit both fifth-generation ‘6C’ Polos from 2014 as well as current, 2017 onwards ‘AW’ models fitted with VW’s three-cylinder, ‘EA211’ 1.0 TSI engine. The Polo-based T-Cross 1.0 TSI SUV will also benefit from the upgrade.

Turbo inlet kit
Compatible with both factory and aftermarket intake boxes, RacingLine’s turbo inlet elbow will complement the company’s upcoming cold air intake, too. Ready to support higher power outputs and even future turbo upgrades, the kit consists of a high-flow turbo silicone inlet hose and a ‘Turbo 90’ inlet. Increased airflow is said to be one benefit, resulting in faster turbo response and a ‘worthwhile’ jump in power.

RacingLine 1.0 TSI turbo inlet kit

Made from reinforced, high quality silicone to prevent deformation under boost pressure or heat, a formed lip on the joins of the inlet hose ensures smooth airflow transition. The inlet elbow is manufactured from ultra-thin wall 6061-T6 aluminium, and has a gloss black anodised finish with an enlarged and smoothed internal bore for optimised airflow. RacingLine quotes a combined fitting time for both pieces of just 15 minutes, and has published a handy fitting guide.

RacingLine 1.0 TSI high-flow filter

High-flow filter
RacingLine’s high-flow filter will fit the same versions of the Polo 1.0 TSI as the turbo inlet kit. The triple-layer filter is handmade in the UK from Trifoam to OEM standards of design, materials and quality for improved, higher air flow, as well as economy and power gains. Removing the restrictions imposed by the factory paper filter, RacingLine quotes increases in mid-range power, without damaging any remaining manufacturer’s warranty.

RACINGLINE HISTORY
Originally formed in 1997, RacingLine was originally named Volkswagen Motorsport UK, and was fully owned by the Volkswagen Group in Germany. Competing in the 1990s British Rally Championship, the company raced a 285bhp third-generation Golf ‘Kit Car’, and won the 1997 series. In 1999 the fourth-generation Golf ‘Kit Car’ brought a second place in the British Rally Championship, and in 2000, a TDI version was the first diesel rally car in the series.

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI Super 1600

In 2001, RacingLine focused its efforts on the new Super 1600 category, with the Volkswagen Motorsport-built Polo GTI S1600 fitted with a high-revving Lehmann engine. Rebranded as Volkswagen Racing, the team took second place in the rallying championship. In 2002, the Volkswagen Racing Cup Championship had its inaugural season and the inclusion of a Golf 1.9 TDI racer was unusual. So unusual in fact, the car’s first win at Thruxton entered the record books, claiming the world’s first ever victory in a sprint race format for a diesel car. A Caddy van racer replaced the Golf in 2004, and followed a Polo-based Caddy circuit machine, the first racing van which debuted in 2002. A fifth-generation Golf TDI racer was also the first of its kind, and the team switched to a GTI in 2005.

2004 Volkswagen Racing Caddy TDI

Fast forward to 2013, and the UK’s first Golf R was upgraded with every applicable RacingLine part to become a circuit safety car to support the British GT Championship, and in 2016 an Audi R8 24-hour race car joined the fleet. In a partnership to take on the World Time Attack world finals in Australia, another R8 followed, this time a twin-turbo V10 with over 1,200bhp! At the same time, RacingLine partnered with Volkswagen Motorsport, Audi Sport and SEAT Sport for race car sales of the TCR series, along with parts and engineering support.

Find out more about the 1.0 TSI turbo inlet kit and the high-flow filter at the RacingLine website.

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04 April 2020 ~ 2 Comments

‘Modern classic’ 1993 Polo Coupé CL fetches £3,150 for StarterMotor charity

Now that the earliest second-generation Polos are almost 39 years old, it could justifiably be called a ‘modern classic’. Even the earliest facelifted ‘2F’ models are now 30 years old (yikes!) so they, too, can be included in the new heritage wave of latter-day machines. And ‘modern classic’ is one description which could be applied to the 1993 Polo Coupé which has fetched over £3,000 at auction. Sale proceeds went to classic car charity StarterMotor.

The 27-year-old Polo Coupé had covered just 37,000 miles from new, and was a two-owner car when it was bought by insurer Hagerty UK on behalf of StarterMotor. A supporter of the charity, Hagerty UK agreed to fund the purchase of the Polo as a charitable donation, as it aligns with its desire to welcome a new generation to the world of classic cars, and celebrates the rising popularity of modern classics. Hagerty also insured the Polo while it was in the care of the Heritage Skills Academy (HSA) which prepared it for auction. The HSA also benefits from StarterMotor charity funding.

Lightly modified
The lightly-modified Polo CL arrived at HSA, based at the huge Bicester Heritage complex in Oxfordshire, in January 2020. Booked into the Bonhams MPH auction on 21 March, the Polo was then returned to as near-standard-specification by the HSA apprentices. The suspension was returned to standard specification, an aftermarket steering wheel was replaced and second-generation Volkswagen Golf-style steel wheels were replaced with near-original-spec 13-inch rims (they appear to be pre-facelift model ‘flat’ items), wrapped in Goodyear tyres. As well as the new components, all the non-standard parts were included in the sale.

The Polo also underwent a comprehensive service at HSA, and was also the recipient of a new cambelt, head gasket, tappets, top-end rebuild, and a water pump. Auto Waxworks then carried out a full detail. Overall, the rejuvenated Polo enjoyed 80 hours of workshop pampering. Marcus Atkinson, Hagerty UK managing director said: ‘Encouraging young people into the world of classic cars is of huge importance to Hagerty, and we have supported StarterMotor and the Heritage Skills Association from the start.’

Sealed bid
StarterMotor is a charity aimed at inspiring young people to learn about classic cars. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Bonhams MPH auction was held behind closed doors. The Polo raised £3,150 for StarterMotor via a sealed bid, which included sellers’ commissions that Bonhams returned to the charity. The final sealed bid’s value was £2,800. ‘To supply a car for this project was a pleasure, and to see it raise so much money at auction, even during these difficult times, shows there is always a buyer for a well-prepared classic car,’ said Atkinson.

As well as a provider of leading insurance products, Hagerty International is regarded as one of the world leaders in the market analysis and the valuation of classic cars. It publishes regular reports taking data from auctions, car sales, collectors, and owners from around the world to give an accurate overview of the classic car market. It also offers an extensive event programme, including the highly-regarded and popular Festival of the Unexceptional which champions more ‘everyday’ cars and it is also one of the world’s largest classic car content providers with digital, film, print and social media channels.

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20 March 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson to contest 2020 World Rallycross Championship in Polo GTI RX

Double world rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson will return to the series in 2020, in a Polo GTI RX. The Swede won consecutive titles in 2017 and 2018 with a Polo GTI RX as part of Petter Solberg’s PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden squad, and returns with his sights set on a third championship victory.

Kristoffersson campaigned selected rallying events in the Volkswagen Motorsport Polo GTI R5 during 2019, and also enjoyed competing in the World Touring Car Championship (WCTR). ‘It has been a hectic period… There have been many alternatives, but right now I feel really satisfied. Rallycross is very close to my heart. All our energy and focus is now on World RX,’ he said. In 2020, his 600bhp Polo GTI RX will wear Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS livery.

He may have been away from the sport, but that doesn’t mean Kristoffersson hasn’t been following the action. ‘I have caught up with some of the races I missed and my conclusion is that our opponents took steps forward during 2019. I have learnt from both rally and racing. That mix is what makes rallycross,’ he said. ‘I’m really looking forward to this season and it is a bit special to do it with Kristoffersson Motorsport. When we entered rallycross in 2014, we set a three-year plan to become world champions.’

‘A very competent squad’
Head of the squad Tommy Kristoffersson knows the challenges the team face in 2020: ‘To run a family team in the world championship is really above our heads, but thanks to great support from our main partners, the Volkswagen dealers in Sweden and BAUHAUS, we felt it was worth giving it a go,’ he said. ‘We hope to score good results early on, giving us a chance for extra support for the later part of the season. Of course, this puts pressure on our team, but I feel assured we have a very competent squad.’

‘Rallycross is surrounded by emotions and the organisers have found a great concept for the events. With a double world champion behind the wheel, the pressure is on. Of course we will be there aiming to win, but anyone involved in this business knows it’s not that easy. After all, we’re a private team and the resources are limited, not even close to 2017 and 2018. Also, the car will be based in Arvika, not in Hannover, even though we will be buying services from Volkswagen Motorsport,’ Kristoffersson senior said.

Johan Kristoffersson’s super-Polo won’t be the only small Volkswagen on the 2020 RX tracks. Norwegian Sondre Evjen will also drive a Kristoffersson Motorsport-built Polo in the European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX) as he did in 2019, and compatriot Thomas Bryntesson has confirmed that he will also drive a Polo Supercar in Euro RX, run by his own team TBRX. Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand will also pilot a Hedstroms Motorsport-run Polo. The Czech Republic’s Ales Fucik, is also behind the wheel of a Polo, for the KRTZ Motorsport ACCR team. Philip Gehrman from Sweden is also in a Polo, campaigned by Bridgestone and First Stop Motorsport.

First rounds postponed
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently sweeping the globe, the first two rounds of the 2020 series, the World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona (18-19 April) and the World RX of Portugal (2-4 May), have been postponed. Check the FIA World Rallycross website for updated information regarding rescheduled dates.

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16 March 2020 ~ 0 Comments

2020 Oettinger Polo Cup: Busi and Oates triumph at season-opener

The 24th season of Volkswagen South Africa’s one-make Polo racing series got underway at Zwartkops Raceway on 12-13 March. Dario Busi and Darren Oates emerged as winners in Pretoria, with Busi leaving the first round of the 2020 Oettinger Polo Cup with the championship lead.

Competitive times
Three practice sessions in the rain on the 1.5-mile circuit did little to dampen the drivers’ spirits, and a field of competitive times ensured the racing would be tightly exciting. Newcomer Jean-Pierre van der Walt and Capetonian Jurie Umpie Swart proved to be the ones to watch – Swart went fastest in two of the day’s three sessions. Following qualifying, the Superpole flying laps session determined the starting order of the fastest six drivers, and Capetonian Dario Busi clinched his maiden pole position, setting a time of 1:11.386. Three tenths of a second faster than Justin Oates, Clinton Bezuidenhout was third. Swart was fourth.

Busi was flying from the start of race one, with the chasing pack of identical 197bhp racing Polo GTIs staying close and tight. There was little jostling for position, and as he charged towards the checkered flag, Busi opened up a gap. He crossed the finishing line 4.9 seconds ahead of his rivals. Justin Oates’ Polo was the second to pass under the flag with Bezuidenhout claiming the final podium position. Busi was overjoyed with his first ever win. ‘It was a great race and a fantastic feeling to control it from the front. This must be the best-handling car I’ve ever driven. Let’s see if we can get another podium in the next race,’ he said.

Fierce attack
A draw determined the starting order for the second race, with Darren and Justin Oates taking first and second places on the grid respectively. Busi started from row two, alongside Van der Walt with Arnold Neveling and Swart completing the top six. The Oates brothers almost collided shortly after the lights turned green which allowed ‘master’ (a category for those aged over 35) driver Van der Walt to make the most of the situation. The Johannesburg businessman fought off a fierce attack from Darren Oates and Busi, and a small mistake halfway through the race saw him slip down to fifth.

Darren Oates led the pack of 20 cars, and despite being under pressure from Busi, defended his advantage to cross the line first. Neveling crossed the line in fourth ahead of Swart and early race leader Van der Walt. When the times for both races were added to determine the day’s overall results, Busi was at the top of the standings ahead of Justin Oates and Bezuidenhout, and left Zwartkops the championship leader.

‘The guys at the front of the field gave us two very competitive and for the most part also clean races,’ said Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen South Africa Motorsport. ‘They all drove well and set the scene for a very competitive season ahead. The Oettinger Polo Cup is also all about developing future stars and there were also a few noteworthy results, albeit from a little further down the order,’ he added. ‘It’s dangerous to make any predictions in motorsport and with so many fast and talented drivers all staking their claim so early on it’s impossible to predict how this year’s championship will end. But one thing is for certain: it’s going to be very exciting.’

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11 March 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo rises two places in UK’s most popular new cars chart

The Volkswagen Polo was the seventh most popular car in the UK during February 2020, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). With 1,451 Polos finding new homes, the small Volkswagen is eighth in the year-to-date top ten rundown – a total of 3,787 have been registered since the start of 2020.

The Volkswagen Golf topped the chart with 3,457 registrations, just as the eighth-generation model starts to appear in UK retailers, with the Ford Fiesta in second place. Longstanding chart stalwarts Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa and Mercedes-Benz A-Class rounded out the top five.

Overall, UK registrations fell 2.9 per cent in February to 79,594 units, as demand from private buyers declined again. It was a good month for battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars, though, with 4,566 joining the UK roads but at just 5.8 per cent, their market share remains low. The UK’s top ten most popular new cars during February 2020 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Volkswagen Golf: 3,457 (7,484, 3rd)

2 Ford Fiesta: 3,123 (9,210, 1st)
3 Ford Focus: 2,784 (8,051, 2nd)
4 Vauxhall Corsa: 1,871 (6,244, 4th)
5 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 1,648 (4,862, 6th)
6 Vauxhall Grandland X: 1,540 (3,801, 7th)
7 Volkswagen Polo: 1,451 (3,787, 8th)
8 Mini: 1,339
9 Nissan Qashqai: 1,293 (5,901, 5th)

10 BMW 5 Series: 1,286

(The 2020 year-to-date top ten most popular cars absent from February 2020’s UK registration figures were the ninth-placed BMW 3 Series and the tenth-placed Kia Sportage with 3,648 and 3,386 units recorded respectively.)

Polo Vivo is registration champion
Once again, the Polo Vivo topped the new car registrations charts in South Africa, with 2,417 cars rolling out of retailers. The latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) figures state that the sixth-generation Polo was again in second place with 2,120 units sold, with an additional 10,409 exported from Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage plant. The Polo-based T-Cross registered a total of 463 cars, while 540 traditionally styled Polo Sedans left the forecourts.

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