This weekend is another special one for the local motorsport fraternity. Considered by many as the second largest high-octane event after the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Japan GT is back in town for the tenth time. Along with a group of high-powered race machines and gorgeous race queens, the event is also made up by two support races including the Toyota Vios One Make Series and the Volkswagen Scirocco Cup China which makes it’s debut in Malaysia.
For those of you who have not heard of the Scirocco Cup, allow us to break it down for you. The first ever Scirocco Cup was held in 1976 in Germany and it evolved into the Golf Cup, which then turned into the Lupo Cup. This series was subsequently replaced by the Polo Cup. The Scirocco Cup was recently re-introduced and in Europe for the 2010 season, the series races the 261hp Scirocco R fueled by bio-compressed natural gas or Bio-CNG. This “eco-friendly” Scirocco R race cars output less carbon dioxide, by up to 80% compared to its gasoline counterpart.
The Chinese version of the event was introduced in 2009 and now enters it’s second year. The Sciroccos that are used in this Asian series are based on the non-R Sciroccos and are fueled by conventional gasoline. Each car uses the usual 200hp 2.0 litre 4-potter TSI linked to a 6-speed DSG transmission. Being a race car it features track-friendly amenities such as a full roll cage, a fire extinguisher system, racing brakes and an AIM data logging system, among others.
All cars are identical and the rules state that no setup modifications are allowed for the drivers. A typical race weekend consists of two 30 minutes practice sessions, one 30 minutes qualifying and two races. Each race is 50 kilometers (or 25 minutes) in length and for Sepang, that equals to eight laps each. Grid positions for the first race are determined by the performance in qualifying. There is a twist for the second race though. The top eight finishers of race one will be positioned in a reverse order for the second race. Meaning the winner of the first event will start the next race in eight. This is of course to keep things more competitive as quicker drivers will try to make their way through the field.
Each participant would need to compete in at least three races to be included in the championship battle where his or her best seven results will be taken into account when calculating total points. The 2010 Scirocco Cup China is mostly made up by Chinese and Hong Kong drivers but they are also joined by drivers from Japan, Canada, Italy, UK and France. For this weekend’s Sepang round which is the second this season after Zhuhai, a Malaysian entry is included as well.
Representing us is Hammond Lai, a familiar face in the local motorsport scene. Despite this being his first ever Scirocco Cup entry, Hammond went on to win Saturday’s first race. He managed to keep pole sitter Stefano Montesi from Italy and Hong Kong’s Kenny Lo at bay.
With the win Hammond who has six years of racing experience under his belt will start the second race from eight place. When asked if he intends to continue with the championship this year, he said that it is unlikely however he hopes to secure a full season entry next year. Our best wishes are with him for Sunday’s race and it would be interesting to see if he can repeat his success.
Meanwhile you can look for image galleries of the event after the jump, enjoy!
GALLERY: 2010 Volkswagen Scirocco Cup China – Sepang (Day 1)
[zenphotopress number=999 album=1214]
GALLERY: 2010 Volkswagen Scirocco Cup China – Grid Girls
[zenphotopress number=999 album=1218]
GALLERY: Scirocco Cup Car – Damaged
[zenphotopress number=999 album=1220]