HERNDON, Va. (April 16, 2009) – Volkswagen of America, Inc. has announced three guest drivers for its season-opening SCCA Pro Racing sanctioned races at VIRginia International Raceway on April 25 and 26. Guest drivers will include Jeb Burton, son of NASCAR legend Ward Burton; Simon Dumont, professional freestyle skier and Red Bull athlete; and Dan Carney, award-winning automotive journalist.
Dumont will compete in race one at 11:10 a.m. (EDT) on April 25, while Burton and Carney will race in the second event at 2 p.m. (EDT) on April 26. The trio will fully participate in all of the weekend’s on and off-track events, including practice and qualifying. While they’ll be full participants, they will be ineligible for points or prize money. Full-time series participants will move up the final race results accordingly.
“We introduced the guest driver concept last year as a way to further spread our message of the effectiveness of clean diesel technology and performance,” said Clark Campbell, motorsports manager, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The three guests we have participating all have racing experience in some form and have the unique ability to broaden the reach of our series.”
About the guest drivers:
Jeb Burton - Jeb Burton, 16, is the son of former NASCAR driver and 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton. He drives the No.27 State Water Heaters Chevy Impala in the Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va. Jeb began racing professionally in 2008 at age 15 at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC. In his first pro season, he scored three top-five finishes in four starts at South Boston and posted a several top-10 finishes at Orange County. Like his father, founder of the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, Jeb is an avid outdoorsman with strong ties to the outdoors who deeply cares about conservation. He was born and raised by the creed to give back our natural resources to the next generation. For more information on Jeb Burton, visit www.jebburtonracing.com.
Simon Dumont - Known for breaking records and pushing his body to the limits in the process, 22-year-old Dumont is constantly challenging himself every time he drops into a pipe or jump. Looked to as a leader in the relatively new world of freeskiing, the Bethel, Maine native and Red Bull athlete used his background in gymnastics to become a thrilling and spectacular aerialist on skis. Named by Powder magazine as one the most important faces in skiing today, he’s a gripping sight to see twisting and turning high above the crowd with every trick. Dumont has won multiple X Games gold medals and currently holds the world quarterpipe height record of 35 ½ feet above the top of the pipe and 83 feet above the ground. For more information on Dumont, visit www.redbullusa.com/simondumont.
Dan Carney - Carney is an award-winning freelance automotive and motorsports journalist who currently writes for MSNBC.com, The Wall Street Journal.com, Popular Mechanics, and Automotive Engineering International. His work has been recognized with a Washington Automotive Press Association Golden Quill award and a National Motorsports Press Association award for magazine writing. Not limited to his journalistic efforts, he has competed in various SCCA events and was once named the SCCA Old Dominion Region “Racer of the Year.”
The 2009 season marks the second year of competition for the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, which is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. During the season, young, up and coming drivers (between ages 16-26) will compete in 10 events on eight road courses around North America in identical factory-prepared clean diesel Jetta TDI’s powered by Syndiesel® B5 biofuel. Each driver competing in the series will earn a Pro Racing license from SCCA at the conclusion of the season. In addition, the series champion will win $100,000.
The Jetta TDI Cup car is powered by a 2.0-liter, 170 hp, four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine mated to a six-speed, double-clutch, automatic DSG transmission. The car is only slightly modified from stock with Pirelli racing tires, race suspension and brake components, drivers racing safety seat, FIA roll cage and an on-board fire extinguisher system. Series sponsors include: Pirelli, Bosch, ViON, Castrol, Oakley, Red Bull, HYPERFUELS, Aggreko, defNder, Safety-Kleen, Ringer Gloves, Jim Russell Racing School and Trellis Earth.
Follow the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series action on:
Volkswagen Online Newsroom: media.vw.com