Celebrating 50 Years of Volkswagen Motorsport


Volkswagen races like everyone else does. How we race is how we approach our vehicles.


Yet, Volkswagen had its motorsports roots in the most likely of places – open wheel cars. To harness the power of the air-cooled horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine Volkswagen had been building since the 1930s, some intrepid car builders in Munich put them the back of a small one-seat open wheel car to see if they can run as quick of other small-engine series racers. With success, they put together a series called Formula V. On July 11, 1966, the first Formula V race was under way.


From there, Volkswagen had been in competition in various arenas. From Formula Vee came Formula Super Vee. In 1971, the roster of Super Vee drivers read like a who’s who of the future of motorsport – Nikki Lauda, Jochen Rindt and Keke Rosberg – that would current Formula One driver Nico’s father. In the later Formula 3 series, superstars, such as Formula One champion Michael Schumacher and Le mans legend Tom Kristensen, took to Volkswagen power to cut their teeth before they went on the bigger stage.


Volkswagen also saw action in far flung race series. They ran in touring car championships in Europe, the Dakar Rally, and in the World Rally Championship. Stateside, Volkswagen has been involved in the  Global Rallycross Championship series with Andretti Motorsports. Our Beetle GRC drivers Scott Speed and Tanner Foust hold the top two spots in the series.


When we race, we win. When buying a car at Volkswagen Van Nuys, everyone wins! That is the result of fifty years of Volkswagen Motorsport.