Industry-first move will ensure fair competition between racers during practice, qualifying rounds and races
In a first for the South African motorsport industry, vehicle tracking solutions specialist Ctrack by Inseego today announced that its telematics technology will be used to monitor all 22 Volkswagen Polo racing cars competing in the 2017 Engen Volkswagen Cup both on and off the track. The race organisers, Volkswagen Motorsport, will have visibility of the number of kilometres each contender puts in during practice and qualifying sessions, as well as on race days.
Volkswagen Motorsport will use the Ctrack systems to ensure competitors adhere to rules and regulations. “Competitors only have a certain amount of kilometres that they can drive while testing the vehicle before competitions. Over time, we have struggled to manage this mileage, and having the Ctrack technology is a great benefit for us to make sure competitors play by the rules of the competition,” says head of Volkswagen Motorsport, Mike Rowe.
The Engen Volkswagen Cup series, in its 21st year, has the biggest single entry for any national race meeting. Racing drivers between the ages of 15 and 27 years who are members of the Engen Volkswagen Cup Association and hold a National Racing Licence are encouraged to join the formula, which sees close competition and clean racing since all the vehicles driven are identical in specifications.
The engine is owned and serviced annually by Volkswagen Motorsport and controlled by means of a lease system, with strict requirements to make use of the engine for fair competition.
Besides tracking mileage, the Ctrack technology is also able to track driver behaviour by monitoring performance factors such as harsh braking and harsh acceleration – all vital aspects during a race. However, they are not exploring that option just yet, says Rowe.
According to Greg Moloney, television commentator for the series, this initiative is set to revolutionise the industry. “Ctrack has started to prove to be one of the best tracking systems available – for insurance, consumers, fleet and now, a racing series. This is an entirely new concept for South African motorsport, where the testing phases of the races are now also being monitored. That is what the Engen Volkswagen Cup is all about – to make sure it’s a level playing field for everyone involved,” he says.