Promising debut for championship’s first Passat contender


The Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup welcomed a new car to the grid at Spa, Team HARD’s Passat CC, which was piloted on its debut by British Touring Car Championship driver Andy Wilmot. Wilmot qualified the Passat seventh and raced to ninth on Friday.

Wilmot declared himself pleased with the car, the first Passat ever seen in the VW Cup: “I like it. It’s very much a car in development at the moment. We need to work on it so that it is set up like a touring car – at the moment it is set up very similar to a Golf or a Scirocco and it’s not really working. We need to give it a lot more rear wing and rear stability. Through the fast stuff we are getting snap oversteer, and it’s not the best feeling. You have to drive the car very smoothly, you can’t throw it around, but overall although I am not where I want to be we are still in the top 10 with a development car. Definitely a promising start.”

Team HARD boss Tony Gilham added: “The touring car Passat CC was my brainchild a few years ago when we introduced it to the BTCC, so it made sense to get one alive and kicking in the Volkswagen Racing Cup, and for us it’s a realisation of something we always wanted to do.

“It was great out of the box and here we are, first time on Hankook slicks, and we are in the top seven in qualifying. Andy is a very experienced driver and he’s given us some good feedback on what is really our first proper test. The results achieved are a testament to how good the Passat really is. Really it is pretty much identical underneath to a Golf: the only differences are the front and rear subframes and the steering rack.

“We want to run it as a guest car for the rest of the season and bring some big names to drive it; I’d love to have a go in it myself. Maybe I’ll be out in it at one of the rounds later this year, who knows?”

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