The Mk2 Golf GTI Championship was planned, like so many interesting things (!), with several meetings in a local pub over a few beers !. The four guys involved were big time VW enthusiasts having owned many standard and modified cars, though only one had raced before, all had taken part in track days. Golf GTIs of all generations had been used, but the ever popular Mk2 seemed to be the best suited to a possible ‘ one make’ series, due to its inherent performance and good handling also as, particularly at the time (2006), the cost of purchasing a suitable donor vehicle was very low indeed (just a few hundred pounds typically).
There was one other age old debate we wanted to settle also – which is best 8V or 16V ? – no one had ever seriously put this to the test, so far as we were aware, so we thought a race series would be an excellent way to find out !.
The more the idea for a low cost easily accessible race series was discussed, the better it seemed, so an initial set of regulations were written and an approach made to the 750 Motor Club to see if they would run the event. A deal was soon done for a trial of 5 races and the funds put together for the purchase of grid slots – Golf GTI Racing was go !. A strange sense of dread set in at this point - what if it was only the four of us who thought it was a good idea ??!; this could be the most expensive trackday we ever went on if there was only 4 cars on the grid !.
We needn’t have worried, the first race at Cadwell Park in July 2007 had 17 entries and by the end of the first season, the average was in the low 20’s. It was clear there were many other like minded Golf GTI fans around and the race event, now in its fifth season, quickly grew in numbers and was awarded Championship status by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) from 2008.
Successful Championship years in 2008 and 2009 saw numbers grow once again and the level of racing improve to mirror that of the Production Saloon Car Championship, where the cars raced to similar regulations back in the late 1980’s; a remarkable achievement.
The organisers made the move to Motorsport Vision (MSVR) in 2010 to provide an improved choice of tracks and an increased profile. A number of competitors commented that it was fantastic to be in the same paddock, on the same race weekend, as the Formula Palmer Audis, GT Cup and Britcar race events !. This proved to be another step forward for the Championship.
In 2012 the Championship remained as popular and well supported as ever and 2013 promises the same.