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Polo Cup racing

Broadcast dates : 5th February 2006
11th February 2006


When it comes to exciting racing itís hard to beat the Engen VW Cup, a highly successful one-make series more commonly known as Polo Cup.

The series sees over 30 identical slightly modified VW Polos go head to head and door-handle to door handle over 12 races around the country.

Gugu was keen to touch base with the 2005 champ Robert Briggs, and perhaps convince Robert to let him have a go in the championship-winning Team Autozone car.

One-make racing is highly popular in Europe and in South Africa the Polo Cup formula has been a fantastic formula.

There are probably more national champions competing in Polo Cup, or rather Engen VW Cup, than in any other formula.

The cars are built by Volkswagen Racing in Port Elizabeth to identical specification and then sold to competing teams.

They all use identical 2 litre VW engines, modified slightly with different camshafts, exhausts and engine management systems to produce about 140 kiloWatts.

Other changes include special stiffer suspension with different geometry to a road car, bigger brakes and a roll cage for driver protection and body stiffness.

The interiors are stripped of non-essentials for lightness and the cars weigh in at 1100 kg.

They run on slick tyres supplied by Continental And they go and handle like thoroughbred racing salon cars. And man, they sound great too revving to over 7500 rpm.

After winning a track championship a few years back and driving in the Wesbank V8 category before switching to rallying, Gugu couldnít wait to get back in a real racing car on tarmac.

The Autozone Team had the highly talented Robert Briggs as lead driver for 2005 and heíll be defending his title this year. Team manager Gregg Barrett was delighted with the teamís success and paid tribute to all the key members.

One of the biggest reasons for the Polo formulaís success is the great sound the engine makes.

According to insiders the cars are not that easy to drive, demanding a very precise turn-in and throttle application in the corners.

And as Greg Barret says, the driving standard is exceptionally high.

For 2006 the Engen VW Cup is looking good with a reported 30 competitors signed up to go racing.

And, no big surprises here, Gugu is kind of hinting heíd like to be one of them.
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