JOLIET, Ill. (July 26, 2009) – The Autobahn Country Club’s 21 turns provided the perfect setting for some of the closest racing action that the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup has seen all season long. In the end, it was the hunter versus the hunted with the series points leader playing the former to the eventual first-time winner, Andy Lee.
Polesitter, Lee of Maricopa, Arizona held strong in his position for a majority of the race despite constant pursuit from various drivers who played leapfrog with second place. In the end, Lee faced extreme pressure from series points leader Megenbier who was poised to make a move when a full course caution came out with less than five minutes remaining in the race. The No. 15 car of Theresa Condict made hard contact with the tire barrier in Turn One, forcing the stewards to display the yellow flag. Because the limited time left in the race, Andy Lee cruised under yellow, taking the checkered flag ahead of Megenbier and Mark Pombo who rounded out the podium. Once he reached victory lane, Lee proceeded to climb on his car’s roof and do a victory dance to celebrate his first win in two seasons of competition in the series. The victory moves him into second position in the Championship standings behind Megenbier who holds a 24-point lead.
“Today was quite the battle,” Lee said. “I made some mistakes early in the race, but fortunately I was able to hang on and get into a rhythm. Timmy (Megenbier) was all over me late in the race, and he was trying everything under the sun to force me to make mistakes including flashing his lights and turning on his windshield wipers. Fortunately, it wasn’t working. When the caution came out, I thought that they might give us one more lap, but when I saw the checked flag, it was the best feeling in the world. It’s really rewarding to get this win after a season and half in this series.”
Despite coming in second, Megenbier was his usual smiling self, as he increased his Championship lead and won a much larger prize - the opportunity to compete in the Jetta TDI Cup’s sister series in Germany, the Polo Cup. The Melrose Park, Illinois native receives this prize as a result of being the points leader at the midway point of the season. He will now leave for Germany in three days and travel to Oschersleben to compete against European drivers in the Volkswagen spec series Aug. 2.
“Andy (Lee) and I were running away from the rest of the field, and I desperately wanted to try to get by him, but I wasn’t willing to do anything that would risk taking either one of us out of the race,” Megenbier said. “Unfortunately for me, the yellow came out, and I never had a chance to try to make a clean pass. I’ll definitely take second because it means that I’m going to be going to Germany to race next weekend in the Polo Cup. It’s a great opportunity, and I can’t wait to see how I stack up against the European competition. It’s been a great weekend for me since I had so many family members and friends here at my home track cheering me on. It was really rewarding to be able to stand up on the podium and hear their cheers.”
Three guest drivers joined the series for the race at Autobahn, with Chicago-area Volkswagen dealer Richard Fisher claiming the top finishing position of ninth. Extreme skier and TV personality Glen Plake and journalist Jeff Olson placed 24th and 25th respectively.
“I’ve had plenty of racing experiences, but I have to say that this is one of the most fun series that I’ve competed in,” Fisher said. “What’s even more amazing is that these cars are every bit as fast as many of the other series that were competing here this weekend, and they’re nearly identical to the production model Jetta TDI’s. What makes this even more remarkable is that they’re getting nearly 25 miles per gallon.”
The top five drivers in the Championship points standings are: 1-Timmy Megenbier (188), 2-Andy Lee (164), 3-Joey Atterbury (153), 4-Jake Thompson (141) and 5-Taylor Broekemeier (115). The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series returns to action Aug. 14-15 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for Round 6 of the 10-round season.