|The Scirocco R had an average debut season as it looks to challenge for top honours|
The future of Kptk92 has been resolved, with Volkswagen declaring that they have signed the defending Champion on a season-long basis.
It is a surprise to many within the paddock, with Alfa Romeo and Ford looking the most likely candidates to secure a signature. But a last-gasp approach by Volkswagen, whose future in the BTCC looked in doubt as it struggled to find a driver, has secured the services of one of the Championship contenders.
Kptk92 was spotted testing for a variety of teams during the official test day, including Volkswagen, and a statement was published at the conclusion of the test: "Volkswagen Motorsport can confirm that it has reached a deal to secure the services of one of the top drivers in the BTCC. We are very happy to announce that Kptk92 has chosen to defend his BTCC title in the VW Scirocco. Volkswagen boasts a proud and rich history and we hope that this new partnership will contribute another page to our story."
A statement by Kptk92 was published shortly afterwards confirming the news: "I'm very proud to have signed for Volkswagen Motorsport today. I have been offered a great opportunity to prove the car's abilities as well as putting mine to the ultimate test. My aim is to bring this car and this team to the very front and I look forward to what the new season has in store for us."
The news follows a very average season by the Scirocco team, as they were unable to consistently challenge for victories. They claimed just one victory with dI Atticus Ib, whereas Championship regular o0o JAM1E o0o was one of the few drivers on the grid to not score a single victory.
Golf and Scirocco outfits combine
Volkswagen have released an additional statement to announce that their Golf and Scirocco teams will merge in an effort to save costs.
"Volkswagen Motorsport remains committed to being an example of effective cost-cutting and maintaining competitiveness. Today we announce that our two BTCC teams will merge and that we will field two different models on the grid - our Scirocco with Kptk92 and our Golf, which has been a popular and iconic BTCC car, which will be driven by kaliber1985. With this decision, Volkswagen believes that it will be a threat in both Championships."
Volkswagen ran two Sciroccos and two Golfs last season, but under the regulations of the Championship, teams that entered the Manufacturers Championship were only eligible to field two cars at one time, which led to two Volkswagen outfits being formed. The Scirocco team emerged as the victor in the Manufacturers battle, but Golf driver xII robo IIx narrowly led both Sciroccos in the Drivers Championship.
Today's news has come as a great shock in some ways, but not in others.
The merging of it's two teams indicates that Volkswagen might have been preparing to bow out of the Championship, but it has given itself the best possible chance of survival with the signing of the BTCC Champion.
Kptk92 has taken on an enormous task with this shock signing. He remains as confident as ever of being up at the front end but he must be wary of the past. The Scirocco endured a difficult debut season and was way off of Volkswagen's expectations, even with one of the strongest driver line-ups last season in rival o0o JAM1E o0o, who isn't unfamiliar with winning, and dI Atticus Ib.
The car's lack of top speed was one of it's key deficiencies and testing has shown that this problem has not been solved.
A massive shift in the driver line-ups looks set to also conspire against Volkswagen, with five time Champion x Shuffle back to reignite his affair with SEAT, o0o JAM1E o0o moving to defending Manufacturers Champions BMW and xII robo IIx bailing out of the Golf. Kptk92's first task will be to ensure that he doesn't lose sight of the leaders, and if he can turn his Scirocco into a force to be reckoned with at the front.