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End of an Era: Champion Pepper Wins Final Race in Volkswagen’s Touring Car School

At precisely 17:35 on Saturday evening, spectators at the Hockenheimring were witness to the end of an era: Jordan Lee Pepper (ZA) won the final race in the history of Volkswagen’s touring car school. It was only fitting that the champion of the 2014 Scirocco R-Cup should triumph in the 166th race in the popular junior series, on which the curtain has fallen for the final time after 17 years. The story came full circle in a sun-drenched Hockenheim: it was at this very venue back in 1998 that it all started with victory for Poland’s Jacek Henschke, at the wheel of a Lupo, in the very first race of what was at the time the ADAC Volkswagen Touring Junior Cup.

The final race of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup once again treated spectators in the stands at the Hockenheimring to exactly that, which has made the one-make cup so popular over the years. Thrilling wheel-to-wheel action and spectacular overtaking manoeuvres – and in environmentally-sound, natural gas-powered cars. As has so often been the case in the past, celebrity guest starters added some extra spice to the occasions. Albert von Thurn and Taxis (D) lined up at the grand finale, and in doing so established the link across all the years of Volkswagen’s touring car school.

The head of the royal house of Thurn and Taxis launched his motorsport career with Volkswagen. Back then, the series for talented young drivers was known as the ADAC Volkswagen Lupo Cup and provided valuable training for numerous youngsters between 1998 and 2003. The Lupo Cup was succeeded from 2004 to 2009 by the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup, in which Albert von Thurn and Taxis made one guest appearance. And he returned today for one final race in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup, which over the course of its five championships since 2010 has offered an affordable way into motorsport with equal opportunities for all involved.

Albert von Thurn and Taxis – as 2010 ADAC GT Masters champion one of the most successful graduates of Volkswagen’s touring car school – finished 18th in the final race, just behind the best-placed lady, Doreen Seidel (D). The second royal guest starter, Pierre Casiraghi (MC) – son of Princess Caroline of Monaco – was forced to park up early on in his Cup-Scirocco. That left three of the one-make cup’s regular drivers to fight it out among themselves for victory in a dramatic three-way battle.

Starting from seventh on the grid, Jordan Lee Pepper drove like a man possessed and was unstoppable as he charged towards the head of the field. On lap ten of eleven the 18-year-old, who had already been confirmed as champion prior to the final race, overtook his fiercest rival Jason Kremer (D) who went on to finish runner-up ahead of third-placed Marc Coleselli from Austria. Second place in the final race proved sufficient for Kremer to finish runner-up in the championship behind the dominant champion Pepper, who won six of the season’s ten races. The title in the Junior Cup went to Denmark’s Nicolaj Møller Madsen, who came home fourth in the final race in Volkswagen’s touring car school.

Quotes after the final race of the season at the Hockenheimring

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“The final race in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup once again offered everything that has made our one-make cup so special over the last 17 years: action galore for the spectators and equal opportunities for the drivers. We are happy to have laid the foundations for a successful career in motorsport for so many talented youngsters. We now close the class register for our touring car school for the last time. Elsewhere, a new chapter of a totally new motorsport story is just beginning: the Audi Sport TT Cup will continue the tradition of the one-make touring car cup within the Volkswagen Group in the coming years.”

Manuel Reuter, DTM legend and mentor in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup
“Jordan Lee Pepper is a worthy champion after an outstanding season. He made a very strong start to the season, and was in control of his rivals from that point on. He showed his class again with a great performance at the finale. However, the final race also showed that the rookies have improved consistently from one weekend to the next. We have been treated to a very good final class in Volkswagen’s touring car school. A number of drivers are very, very promising. We will definitely see more of them in other series.”

#34 Albert von Thurn and Taxis
Qualifying 17 – Race 18
“That was great fun. I made my first appearance here 13 years ago with Volkswagen, in what was at the time the Lupo Cup. As such, I was delighted that Volkswagen invited me back for the last race in the Scirocco R-Cup. We have come full circle. It was also exciting, for me, to be back in a front-wheel drive car. You can see from my result that it is not so easy to adapt. That is my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

#26 Pierre Casiraghi 
Qualifying 23 – Race DNF
“I really enjoyed my second race weekend in the Scirocco R-Cup. It was a nice feeling to be back in the cockpit during practice and qualifying. I got off to a good start in the race. Unfortunately I was hit on the rear axle whilst braking into the second corner, which sent me into the crash barriers. Unfortunately the damage to the suspension was too great, so I had to park up in the garage.”

#17 Jordan Lee Pepper 
Qualifying 7 – Race 1
“That was a perfect race to end what has been a dream season for me. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me. It is a shame there will no longer be a Scirocco R-Cup – it is a fantastic series, which will be missed in the future.”

#16 Jason Kremer 
Qualifying 2 – Race 2
“I had a clear goal coming into the race weekend: I was determined to secure second place in the championship. I managed that, and am very happy. I would obviously have liked to end the season with another win, but Jordan was too strong. All in all, I am very happy with my first season of touring car racing.”

#14 Nicolaj Møller Madsen
Qualifying 9 – Race 4
“For me, winning the title in the Junior Cup is the perfect way to end a magnificent racing series. I’d like to thank everyone in the Volkswagen team, as the Scirocco R-Cup has been perfectly organised in every regard. We drivers receive top support and identical cars, which allows us to prove who is really the fastest driver. Thankfully the one-make cup will live on in the Volkswagen family, and hopefully Audi will come up with an equally great concept.”

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