Volkswagen returns to Formula 3 as engine supplier
July 19, 2007 Volkswagen is preparing to return to Formula 3 racing as an engine supplier with a newly developed 210 bhp two-litre engine. Volkswagen was previously very successful in F3 in the 1980s, with Michael Schumacher and Tom Kristensen setting up successful careers by driving a winning Volkswagen in the German Formula 3 Championship. The new power unit will debut at the seventh round of the Formula 3 Euroseries at the Nürburgring on September 2.
The engine will be based on a production engine used within the Volkswagen group by Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen. “With its aluminium cylinder block, the power unit possesses excellent basic architecture for the high demands in Formula 3,” said 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. The new Formula 3 engine will be seen in action 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 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.”