Thousands of Golf GTI owners of all ages, plus a great many other enthusiasts of Volkswagen Group cars, from Audi RS4s and SEAT Ibiza Cupras to Volkswagen T5 vans, will soon be converging on Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground for this year’s GTI International.
Staged over the weekend of 23 to 24 June, the event – which is organised by Volkswagen Driver magazine and sponsored by Revo Technik – celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and it promises to be the biggest and best yet.
Founded in 1988, when the Golf GTI Mk II 16V was the latest kid on the Volkswagen block, GTI International has grown steadily since and now attracts enthusiasts from all over Europe, and from as far afield as the USA, Australia and South Africa.
The main attraction is the quarter-mile sprint, essentially a drag strip where some of the fastest Volkswagens record zero to 60 times of 2.5 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 10 seconds. Last year saw over 500 cars registered and over 1800 runs recorded.
There is also a handling course, promoted by Bilstein and Eibach with support from Hankook tyres, where entrants can test their driving skills against the clock on a challenging slalom course. Rather more sedate but no less popular is the ‘Show ’n’ Shine’, sponsored by Meguiar’s, which features hundreds of the country’s top show cars, many highly modified and customised, while others are preserved in immaculate standard classic condition.
The event also sees a whole host of club displays and line-ups, trade stands, autojumble, cars for sale, BMX and MotoX displays, a driving simulator, children’s entertainment and on-site camping as well as a DJ, bar and fireworks display on Saturday night.
As well as previewing the new Golf GTI Cabriolet, Volkswagen UK will be displaying its collection of Mk I to VI Golf models. Germany-based Volkswagen Classic Parts is also bringing a number of historic cars to show at the event.
A family-orientated event, GTI International is a celebration of Volkswagen’s GTI range and high-performance models. For more information about GTI International 2012, log on to www.gtiinternational.co.uk, call 01525 750500 or email email@example.com.
Volkswagen's relationship with the UK dates back to 1952, when the first two Beetles were sold. In 1953 Volkswagen Motors Ltd became the official UK importer, and the brand went from strength to strength.
Volkswagen also centralised its operations in 1978, and moved into its headquarters in Blakelands, Milton Keynes. From Blakelands the company controls sourcing, marketing and distribution of all vehicles and parts in the UK.
Today Volkswagen UK, as part of the Volkswagen Group, is one of the country's largest importers of vehicles, employing nearly 600 people nationwide, with the Volkswagen brand employing 180 in Blakelands alone.