At the end of five gruelling days of both physical and mental testing, Volkswagen Motorsport is happy to announce that youngsters Bryce Pillay and Shaheen Amlay are the two finalists of the innovative Volkswagen Driver Search Programme.
“Motorsport is an integral part of what we do as Volkswagen,” commented Mr. Andile Dlamini, General Manager of Group Communications for Volkswagen South Africa. “It is of vital importance to nurture the current talent but also to unearth new talent in order for the sport to survive and also thrive, and for those reasons we will continue to support motorsport with initiatives such as the Driver Search Programme.”
Now in its third season, the Driver Search Programme is already bearing fruit. Winner of the inaugural programme, Jonathan Mogotsi is not only already a race winner and regular front runner in the hugely competitive Engen Volkswagen Cup, but has moved into second position on the overall championship standings following another successful outing at Zwartkops this past weekend.
Zwartkops Raceway also played host to the entire 2018 edition of the programme. Sixteen hopefuls were subjected to a few tests until the top eight was selected two days later. Another full day of driving tests saw the top four emerge and these four youngsters were then thrown into the deep end by completing a full race weekend in front of a live crowd as part of Round 6 of the Extreme Festival. The weekend consisted of practice sessions, qualifying and two race simulations.
“In the end, we were looking for a number of attributes,” added Mr. Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “Sheer speed is obviously one of them, but we were also looking at their ability to learn, to apply their new set of skills to the racetrack and to be consistent. In Bryce and Shaheen, I think we managed to find those two.”
The final phase will consist of more testing before the overall winner will be announced. “The prize for winning the Driver Search is huge as the winner will basically become a Volkswagen factory driver for at least a year with the possibility of continuing with us like Jonathan is doing,” concluded Rowe.