20 years later and after 5 title wins, Volkswagen complements its young Formula 3 commitment by another valuable element.
In addition to contesting the Euro Series and the German ATS Cup, the two-litre engine from Wolfsburg in 2009 will enter its first season in the high-calibre British Formula 3 Championship. Teams Carlin Motorsport with four – and T-Sport with two – drivers trust Volkswagen Power in the UK. Having clinched victories in the Euro Series and the German Cup, as well as the “vice”-championship in the Euro Series with Italian driver Edoardo Mortara, the 210-hp powerplant proved its competitiveness as early as in its first full season.
“With Carlin Motorsport and T-Sport we’ve secured two promising teams in the UK,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “Our strategy of systematically and carefully extending our commitment now includes the British Formula 3 Championship, which is ultra-competitive and has been enjoying a high reputation in Europe for decades.”
Carlin Motorsport and T-Sport: candidates for victory and the title from the UK
Team Carlin Motorsport from Aldershot in the county of Hampshire won the Formula 3 Championship in the UK in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2008. Team Principal Trevor Carlin is entering four Dallara F309-Volkswagen cars in the new season. The Carlin driver line-up: 19-year-old Australian Daniel Ricciardo from Perth, who is part of the Red Bull Junior Team, won the western European Formula Renault last year and finished the Formula Renault Euro Cup as the runner-up. The Briton Max Chilton from Reigate in the county of Surrey is contesting his second full Formula 3 season and – at age 17 – is one of the youngest drivers in the field. His 21-year-old compatriot and team-mate Henry Arundel, a British aristocrat, has one year of Formula 3 experience as well. Oliver Oakes from Norwich, also aged 21, brings his experience as the 2005 FIA Karting World Champion to the team.
Team T-Sport, based in Brackley in Northamptonshire, clinched four victories in the 2008 British Formula 3 season – an achievement Team Principal Russell Eacott wants to build on this season with two drivers and the Volkswagen engines. His driver line-up: 20-year-old Brazilian Adriano Buzaid from São Paulo, who finished last year’s British Formula Renault Championship in third place, is stepping up to Formula 3. His 18-year-old team-mate Wayne Boyd from Ulster in Northern Ireland won the 2008 British Formula Ford.
Successful history: five title wins in the 1980s with Volkswagen Power
For Volkswagen, the extension of its Formula 3 commitment marks the continuation of a glorious past. Between 1984 and 1989 five racers – Johnny Dumfries in 1984, Maurício Gugelmin in 1985, Andy Wallace in 1986, Johnny Herbert in 1987 and David Brabham in 1989 – won the British Formula 3 Championship with Volkswagen engines and thus contributed to the impressive overall tally of 92 victories in the first phase of the brand’s Formula 3 commitment.
Since the end of 2007, Volkswagen has again been committed to Formula 3, and last year clinched 13 podium places, three wins and the vice-champion’s title in the Formula 3 Euro Series; in the same period two further victories in the German ATS Formula 3 Cup went to Volkswagen’s partner team Van Amersfoort Racing.
The 2009 British Formula 3 Championship is staged on ten race weekends including three foreign rounds, in Belgium, Germany and Romania.
2009 British Formula 3 Championship Calendar
- 11–13 April Oulton Park (GB)
- 24–26 April Donington (GB)
- 01–03 May Silverstone (GB)
- 29–31 May Rockingham (GB)
- 05–07 June Hockenheim (D)
- 03–05 July Snetterton (GB)
- 23–25 July Spa (B)
- 14–16 August Silverstone (GB)
- 28–30 August Bucharest (RO)
- 18–20 September Brands Hatch (GB)