Wow! Pretty cool news from Volkswagen. This is one piece of history I had no idea about. Scroll down and check the list of past drivers!
Formula 3 comeback for Volkswagen: The German automobile manufacturer aims to continue its successful tradition as engine supplier in the talent school of formula racing with a newly developed two-litre engine.
Volkswagen celebrated 92 wins alone in the German Formula 3 Championship between 1979 and 1991, and claimed numerous other wins on the international stage. The new power unit will debut at the seventh round of the Formula 3 Euroseries at the Nürburgring between 31 August and 2 September 2007.
“Volkswagen won innumerable races and championships in Formula 3 during the nineteen-eighties and at the beginning of the nineteen-nineties and, as a result, proved impressively the performance of its power units,” explains Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of the Volkswagen Brand with responsibility for Development. “Even today, Formula 3 is an excellent platform to present production-based engine technologies. We want to take on this demanding competition.”
“Volkswagen has been committed to promoting young talent for many decades, returning to Formula 3 is therefore the logical continuation of this commitment. The ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup represents the first step in motorsport for novices, Formula 3 is the springboard to professional racing in the highest motorsport categories such as the DTM, Le Mans and even Formula 1,” adds Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.
Volkswagen’s Formula 3 era: Famous Champions and impressive record
No fewer than seven drivers celebrated winning the German Formula 3 Championship title between 1979 and 1991 and, in doing so, laid the foundations for their successful careers. In addition to John Nielsen (1982), Volker Weidler (1985), Kris Nissen (1986), Bernd Schneider (1987) and Joachim Winkelhock (1988), Michael Schumacher (1990) and Tom Kristensen (1991) also added their names to the championship winners’ list.
Volkswagen occupies second place in the German Championship’s all-time winners list with 92 wins, 96 pole positions and 94 fastest race laps. Volkswagen set the standards worldwide at the height of its Formula 3 era with numerous other wins.
Ideal base for Formula 3: Production engine from Volkswagen Group
“We selected an engine from the production line, which is used within our group by the Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen brands. With its aluminium cylinder block, the power unit possesses excellent basic architecture for the high demands in Formula 3,” comments Wolfgang Hatz, Head of Powertrain Development within the Volkswagen Group. “The very first development steps have confirmed this potential. The engine is now ripe for its first direct comparison on the race track.”
The four-cylinder engine was modified in specific areas to suit the demands in racing. “The power output of the engines supplied by every manufacture involved levels out at around 210 hp due to the engine air-intake restrictor stipulated in Formula 3,” says Donatus Wichelhaus, Head of Engine Development at Volkswagen Motorsport.
Following good test results: First direct comparison at the Nürburgring
The new Formula 3 engine will be seen in action before the end of the 2007 season at selected races of the Formula 3 Euroseries in two cars entered by the Italian team RC Motorsport and a car from AM-Holzer Rennsport based in Augsburg. Both teams use chassis from the Italian manufacturer Dallara.
“Following the good test results obtained over the past few months, the race debut represents the first opportunity to see exactly where we stand in comparison to the competition,” explains Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “We want to demonstrate that this Volkswagen engine is already performing at a high-level during its early stages of development, and that is considered to be a potential race winning power plant for the future by Formula 3 teams.”
– Volkswagen Motorsport