David Perel is grinning like a Cheshire cat as he climbs out of the cockpit of the new Golf GTI TCR. “It’s amazing!” is the initial appraisal from the South African, who has just taken the latest and sportiest evolution of the current Golf GTI range for a spin. He needs a few seconds to gather himself, as the adrenalin levels he just experienced can take their toll, but then there is no stopping him: “It is incredible what Volkswagen has achieved with this car. The chassis is perfectly tuned and you almost forget that you are in a front-wheel driver car, as you can hardly feel the undesirable understeer in corners. This is a development that has been consistently improved with every generation of the Golf GTI, but the TCR is the top of the range. The handling is also great. It almost feels like you are in a go kart as you steer into corners. It is the sportiest GTI I have ever driven.” And this man knows what he is talking about – after all, Perel is a professional racing driver: the 33-year-old has been involved in motorsport for 18 years and his achievements include a class victory at the 24 Hours of Spa. Since 2018, he has been racing in the Blancpain GT Series, which features GT sports cars generating over 550 PS.