Motor sport enthusiasts can look forward to an Indian series of the Volkswagen Polo Cup in the near future as the auto major has plans to introduce motor racing to the country by early 2010.
With the Polo identified as the first VW product to roll out of the company’s upcoming plant at Chakan, the initiative will be part of Volkswagen’s marketing strategy in India, while also helping identify and groom young talent for the international racing circuit.
“We are working on being able to have motor sport in India with Volkswagen from 2010, and have the programme in place by the end of 2009,” Mr Kris Nissen, Director, Volkswagen Motorsport said.
He was speaking at the Sachsenring motor racing track where the penultimate race of the VW Polo Cup series in Germany was amongst those held earlier today.
Elaborating on the forthcoming initiative in India, Mr Nissen said, “We will start first with the Polo Cup, and also be involved in the Formula series for young drivers.”
To build a Polo car that suits India is not a problem, he explained, adding, “We need to adapt the working system (for racing) in Europe to be a working system in India, and we will use 2009 to get the technique in order.”
The company is in discussions with Indian companies, prominent among them J K Tyres, as potential partners in the motor sport programme. “It would make a lot of sense to have companies which supply the factory. We are working in that direction,” Mr Nissen said and added, “We hope to offer a racing weekend for $ 3000, and that drivers will pay as little as possible.”
Volkswagen’s plan to launch motor sport in India is in keeping with its global strategy to introduce a car race using its products wherever they have manufacturing plants. The China series of the Polo Cup was introduced some years ago, and the Jetta TDI Cup in the US in May this year.
Earlier this year, VW facilitated a three-year contract for Chennai-based Indian formula driver 19-year-old Ashwin Sundar, during which he will be trained and groomed to race on the European circuit.
He was a contender in the ADAC Formula Masters (where VW supplies engines) this weekend, the sixth in the eight-weekend season.
Once the Indian series of the Polo Cup is in place, winners would be offered the chance to race on the European circuit, Mr Nissen promised
7 months ago