Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Instructor Earns Second-Place Finish in Firestone Indy Lights Series Debut

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Jan Heylen Pilots Team E Racing Machine In 2010 Season-Opener

 

HERNDON, Va., March 30 This past Sunday, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup chief driving instructor, Jan Heylen, earned a second-place result in his debut in the Indy Lights Series driving for Team E Racing.  Due to thunderstorms, the race was shortened from 45 to 35 laps at the temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg and Heylen did not have enough time to catch eventual race winner J.K. Vernay, a former Volkswagen driver in the F3 Euro Series.

 

"Team E could not be more pleased with a second place finish at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix with Jan Heylen behind the wheel," said Neil Enerson, Owner of Team E Racing.  "Jan showed what a true professional he is under the extremely difficult conditions of the race.  Team E has only 11 races under our belt with one win and now, two second place finishes.  We have a fantastic veteran crew and a very experienced driver.  To start the season with a second place result is a great start to 2010 and hopefully we will find the necessary sponsorship partner to continue with Jan in the car this year."

 

Heylen qualified fourth for Sunday's event, but fell back in the field at the start of the race to avoid an early crash.  He and the Team E Racing crew struggled a bit with their set-up throughout the weekend, but were able to work their way back up to second before the race was red flagged due to severe weather. 

 

"The entire Team worked so hard this past weekend and I am extremely happy to be able to provide them with a second-place podium finish," said Heylen.  "During the race, the weather certainly put a wrench in our vehicle set-up, but I gave it everything thing I had and pushed the vehicle as hard as I could.  It was a great opportunity to get back behind the wheel and to push myself as a driver.  I am unsure what the future will hold with myself and Team E Racing, but I am grateful to Neil Enerson and the entire Team to have been able to put in a good showing in St. Petersburg."

 

Prior to this weekend's event, the 2007 season marks the last time Heylen competed in an open-wheel car, when he fulfilled driving duties for Conquest Racing in two events in the Champ Car World Series.  That year, Heylen would earn a second-place finish at Assen, Holland, which was Conquest Racing's best-ever result.  In 2006, Heylen drove for Dale Coyne Racing and earned a season-best fifth-place finish in Cleveland.

 

When not pursuing his own racing career, which has included Championship wins in the former Renault Eurocup and British Formula Ford Festival and a stint in the Champ Car World Series, Heylen serves as the chief driving instructor for the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series. He is also the lead testing and development driver for the Series. The Series' 2010 season-opener will be held at VIRginia International Raceway on April 24th.

 

Jan Heylen is supported by the following sponsors:

 

Sponsors: VW Motorsports USA, PHR Services, Oakley, Staubli, ViON, Berghoff

 

volkwagenmotorsportusa.com

 

oakley.com

 

staubli.us

 

vion.com

 

phrservice.com

 

berghoffworldwide.com

 

About Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup

 

The SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup was launched in 2008 as way to introduce clean diesel technology to the U.S. market and develop the best of motorsport's up-and-coming talent. During the season, young, up and coming drivers (between ages 16-26) compete on road courses around North America in identical factory-prepared clean diesel Jetta TDI's. Each driver competing in the series earns a Pro Racing license from SCCA at the conclusion of the season. In addition to more than $50,000 in prize money at stake during the season, the Series Champion receives Volkswagen factory career advancement support with a value up to $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.

 

Fans can log on to watch live timing and scoring during Jetta TDI Cup events at: http://livetiming.net/scca/VW.

 

About Volkswagen of America

 

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Golf, GTI, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Eos, Passat, Passat Wagon, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. All 2010 Volkswagens come standard-equipped with Electronic Stabilization Program. This is important because the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called ESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt.

 

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