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Kart racers can qualify for TDI Cup

Posted by Bill Griffith  May 20, 2009 10:31 AM

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Volkswagen will provide aspiring racers with CRG Kali Karts like this. (VW)

For most of us, dreams of becoming a professional race car driver are just that – dreams.
Now Volkswagen is offering any North American resident between ages 16 and 26  a (somewhat) affordable opportunity to race locally with the potential to go national - in its Jetta TDI Cup - from a series of six karting qualifying events at Boston’s F1 outdoor facility in East Bridgewater.
The events will be held on July 14, July 27, August 3, August 17, Sept. 21 and Oct. 12.  A race entry fee of $995 is required upon entry and includes a day of kart qualifying with Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup driving instructors.
Competition will be in identically prepared CRG Kali Karts with Rotax motors. The top 10 finishers at each qualifier can move on to a finals event in February 2010.

Karting has been the first step for many top drivers, including legendary Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.

"Professional motorsports has traditionally been a difficult sport for someone to get into without considerable family or sponsor support, but we’re trying to change that," said Jan Heylen, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Driving Instructor. "These karting events are being hosted at a relatively low cost for participants and they give us an opportunity to evaluate future driver candidates. They also give driver hopefuls a chance to see if they have what it takes to climb the professional motorsports ladder."


The 2009 season marks the second year of competition for the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, which is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. During the season, young, up-and-coming drivers (ages 16-26) compete in 10 events on eight road courses around North America in identical factory-prepared and maintained clean diesel Jetta TDIs. Each driver competing in the series earns a Pro Racing license from SCCA at the conclusion of the season. In addition to the $50,000 prize money purse at stake during the season, the series champion will win $100,000.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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19 comments so far...
  1. Umm $995.00 is considered a low cost entry fee... wow, good luck getting parents and young adults to pony up a thousand in change to enter into something they might not win at this point in today’s economy. I’d like to enter this but I’d never be able bring myself to spend a thousand when I know I have bills and other more important things to spend my money on like food, gas, etc….

    Posted by One poor guy May 20, 09 05:04 PM
  1. This is a great marketing idea. And Boston drivers get the chance to drive without worrying about stoplights etc etc.

    Posted by michel laliberté May 21, 09 07:10 AM
  1. I agree with the poor guy...The idea is great and would be a fun thing, but the grand you need just to get into the game is a little much. I'm 24 and I know that I don't have that laying around, I have bills and other obligations to take care of. I see this is going to be filled mostly with snobby young people that mommy and daddy paid to have race.

    Posted by Just another guy May 21, 09 10:27 AM
  1. Only people with NO previous karting experience would consider this expensive. It is really a bargain, when you consider: Track rental fees of a top level facility, brand new quality kart rental, fuel, tires, mechanical crew, hospitality, coaching staff, etc.

    It is quite obvious that they are looking for quality karters to enter VW's excellent Jetta TDI Cup series by offering a quality experience at a great facility.

    Posted by Karting Kid May 21, 09 11:26 AM
  1. to get into a real racing program usually costs a lot more...i think it weeds out the people that aren't really serious or willing to make a commitment. I you really wanted to do this you would find a way to scare up a grand...this is for do-ers not watchers...i bet you all have cable a land phone/cellphone and drink booze

    Posted by dfresh May 21, 09 01:15 PM
  1. Depends on how much track time you're getting for $1000. I can't really figure this out from the article. Could be a good deal. Maybe not.

    Posted by pc May 21, 09 01:43 PM
  1. Kid has a point. This is for people who race and who are looking for their big break. Although I, a novice, would love to try it, I know I don't have a shot against guys and gals who actually know how to race.

    Posted by Giuseppe May 21, 09 01:48 PM
  1. keep in mind that the guys entering this have already laid out 10-15k on just the kart to race this. If you plan on moving up to cars the $995 is short change at a shot at a fully sponsored deal.
    This is not an amusement park Kart racing this is serious racing.

    Posted by Kartracerfailure May 21, 09 02:41 PM
  1. Giuseppe, You can go down to F1 Outdoor anytime to experience driving a Kart. But be aware that these karts are fast, tricky to drive really quickly and a 30 minute lapping session will be about all you can physically handle without a back brace ( assuming you are actually going fast) . These are NOT amusment park Karts. Learning how to drive one on the track is the first step. Then you learn how to go fast. Then how to race.

    As stated above the enrty fee helps seperate the serious canidates from the mearly curious. If I was still in the age segment I would have raised the $ somehow.

    Posted by GT3Ted May 21, 09 02:41 PM
  1. why age is limitted to 26 that sucks

    Posted by Anonymous May 21, 09 03:35 PM
  1. For those who think the entry fee is too high to just drive a "go-kart". This isn't geared towards you as these are racing machines in themselvers, just a smaller package. Many full size racetrack records have been set with Superkarts, a 250cc version of these karts - not a multimillion dollar racecar. If you are entering this qualification it is assumed you have already had much track time behind a racing kart (I have raced shifter versions of these karts for 4 years - a bit faster) and will be able to post competitive times. If you are looking at this as a first time behind the wheel of a racing kart - then you are wasting your money as you will get smoked in lap times and may even hurt yourself or other drivers.

    Posted by Rob May 21, 09 04:28 PM
  1. I race at that track. I race in the Rotax Sr. class on a G.P. Kart out of CFMotorsports in Easton Ma. The track is a blast to drive. On this track you top out at around 75mph and pull a couple g's going through their banking section on the spec Mojo D2 tires. Participation at that track has gone down at an alarming rate ever since the entry fees had gone up. Its a shame, I live less than 40 min from the track, I'm 26yrs old and I am unable to afford the cost of simply getting into the track. I spend most of my time racing karts in Loudon NH (hitting near triple digit speeds), Oakland Valley NY and NJMP in NJ. If anyone is interested in karting give me an email:

    Posted by Fast Freddie May 21, 09 06:31 PM
  1. Yes, this is geared towards kids (young adults) who are racing these (and other karts) on a regular basis.

    THey broadcast the VW TDI series on SpeedTv. Looks like fun.

    Posted by Can I Borrow your GT3, Ted? May 22, 09 07:44 AM
  1. its $995 at the door and IF you get in you have to pay for your season. Something like $50,000. We used to run with these guys.

    Posted by Don May 24, 09 08:43 AM
  1. Im' 36 but my heart is 20. I want to race i guess if you offered it to us "seniors" It would be nice. I would cut a check right then and there. This is a great thing, i wish you open up the age. I would give anything for a chance to race.

    Posted by Tim May 25, 09 05:43 PM
  1. Actually its nothing near $50,000, thats if your selected for the TDI cup. Reading the article, $995 isn't bad. It gets your foot in the door, and anyone whose like me and has ambitions to be a racecar driver, this is a great opportunity. The exposer, experience and if you run in the TDI cup you also get your pro SCCA license. Also, take a look at other series for a similar situation, you'll pay much more for the ability to race, especially with other groups like ALMS, ARCA, Star Mazda and so on. If you think this isn't as good as some people say it is, especially on here, go to a race, check it out for yourselves, I know I will.

    Posted by Ghost Racer May 26, 09 08:28 AM
  1. Read the classifieds for used real-racing karts, including shifters (6-speed, 125cc 35-45 hp, 4-wheel brakes, water-cooled, 0-100 in 6 seconds, top speed 100-110 mph if geared for high speed and on long straights - for $2000 to $4000; buy one and you own it. I think $995 is excessive and is pure marketing baloney. Age limited to 26; very silly. Most active karters are way over 30 years of age - I have raced karts, presently a 150 mph Superkart for 10 years, and I am 70.

    Don't waste your time with this penny-ante promotion. Go to a WKA sponsored event and get into a "arrive and drive". Google World Karting Assoc. Have fun!

    Posted by charlie deal June 1, 09 08:37 AM
  1. Charlie, are you that old dude who is bare foot water skiing while holding the rope in his teeth?

    If so, you are the man.

    Posted by Who's that old guy? June 1, 09 04:34 PM
  1. I cant say i agree with others who dont agree with this kart racing but for $995 I would love to do this. Especially for a chance to make it into the Jetta Cup Series. Winning the money isnt the reason the join, being able to get your foot in door to move on to other racing series.

    Even if you could buy your own kart for $2-4k you still have to maintain and trailer it around and tune it or else pay someone else to do it for you. For arrive and drive this is GREAT!

    I think for those of us who love racing we will find a way to get 1k and make it to this karting event.

    Posted by Johnny June 10, 09 09:05 PM

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