Touring Cars

Star Studded Scirocco Grid for Brands Hatch

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Four British Formula 1 heros are joining the grid for their home round of the 2010 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup at Brands Hatch on September 4 and 5. With 389 Grand Prix starts and seven Le Mans wins between them, Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert, Derek Bell and Mark Blundell will be hoping to show the series regulars a thing or two on home soil.

Of the four legends, its only Brundle who has experienced the Scirocco Cup before. The 51 year old took part in the series inagural weekend at Hockenheim and picked up a third place finish, a result he thinks will be hard to repeat at Brands Hatch. “I immensely enjoyed the race,” says Brundle, “I was really surprised to find myself standing on the podium next to two very young racers at Hockenheim. The permanent entrants have gathered additional experience with the car in the meantime – this will make it more difficult for me at Brands Hatch to clinch a similarly good result as I did at Hockenheim.” Previous experience in the car and series could bode well for Brundle as he aims to be the best of the legends.

Another legend with recent experience in tin top racing is Herbert, who will be hoping to put everything he learned from competing in the British Touring Car Championship in 2009 to good use in the weekends races. The former Benetton and Stewart star proved a natural in the rough and tumble of the BTCC, picking up points finishes almost instantly and will be hoping to replicate this at Brands, a circuit he raced at in the BTCC, albeit on the Grand Prix configuration.

Joining them will be Blundell, arguably one of the most talented British drivers in the early 1980's. A career in Formula 1, American Champ Car and Sportscars followed, the latter where he picked up the biggest result of the year, winning the 1992 Le Mans 24 Hour race, before nearly repeating the trick in 2003 alongside fellow Scirocco newbie Herbert, where they finished second for Bentley. Blundell has hardly raced since though, but will be hoping to put on a show for his home crowd.

The fourth of the quartet is also the most experienced of them, five time Le Mans winner Bell. Renowned as one of the best sportscar racers ever, the 68 year old will be hoping to roll back the years to showcase the sheer talent that made him one of the best of his generation. He certainly hasn't lose that talent, as he showed three years ago, when he won a Legends race at Laguna Seca featuring the likes of Emerson Fittipaldo and Bobby Rahal. Bell is looking forward to the weekend, saying: “I feel deeply honoured about the opportunity of contesting this forward-thinking one-make cup and competing with young top-calibre drivers,” adding, “As many as 20 years ago, I tremendously enjoyed competing against young talents like the unforgotten Stefan Bellof – and I'll equally enjoy the Scirocco R-Cup.”

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen is looking forward to their participation, saying: “That such grandees of British motorsport are part of the field of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup shows the high prestige which this innovative one-make cup also enjoys in the motherland of motorsport. I'm eager to see how these red-blooded racers from Formula 1 will present themselves in the competition with the young permanent entrants.”

In identical 275hp bio natural gas powered Scirocco's, racing is sure to be close, with a push to pass system, giving an additional 50hp when pressed, sure to create spectacular overtaking manoeuvres on the brilliant Brands Hatch circuit. Fans going along for the DTM weekend should look forward to some superb racing action in the Scirocco R-Cup.

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Simon provides coverage of the support championships for the BTCC, having been a fixture in the TOCA paddock for over six years.
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