Andretti, Stuck and Co. at Volkswagen Formula V revival

Written By:
Photography by: Volkswagen
Nürburgring, 1969, McNamara, Lauda
Nürburgring, 1969, McNamara, Lauda Source Volkswagen
Image Gallery
Nürburgring, 1969, McNamara, Lauda Formel V 1967 Formel V Start Solitude 1965 Formel V Daytona 1969 Kaimann FV 1300 Jahrgang 1970 Fuchs Super V 1974 Nürburgring
Fuchs Super V 1971 Formel Super V March von 1981 Kennerth Persson Formel Super V Kaimann von 1971 Jochen Mass 50 years of Formula Vee

Born in the USA: Formula V will celebrate a big birthday at the 24-hour race in Daytona this weekend (24–27 January). 50 years after its first official race, Volkswagen’s single-seater series returns to its birthplace. Among those present will be a number of ex Formula V drivers, who went on to become international motorsport stars: Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, US star Michael Andretti, Daytona champion Didier Theys, Le Mans winner Hurley Haywood, former DTM stars Hans-Joachim Stuck, Prince Leopold of Bavaria, Klaus Niedzwiedz and Dieter Quester, as well as 1976 Formula Super V European Champion Mika Arpiainen. Rally icon Markku Alén, the unofficial World Rally Champion from 1978, will also be there.

“Volkswagen can look back on major success on the motorsport scene. However, the continuous promotion of juniors has been even more successful,”said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “50 years ago, Formula V was pioneering in this regard. It accompanied many eventual motorsport legends as they took their first steps towards a career in motor racing. Many of these legends will be brought together for the revival in Daytona, where it all began with the first ever Formula V race. I am really looking forward to this reunion.”

Formula V in the USA – the success story that began back in 1963

50 years of Formula Vee

The first ever Formula V race was held at the Daytona Speedway in August 1963. Armed with the 40hp, 1.2-litre engine and the chassis from the Volkswagen Beetle, motorsport enthusiasts put together extremely economic single-seater racing cars – and launched a boom that was soon to spill over to Europe: on 4 July 1965, Formula V made its official German and European debut in front of 50,000 spectators at the Norisring in Nuremberg (Germany). This proved to be the start of a success story, to which a new chapter was added from 1971 onwards with the Formula Super V series – a second class of Volkswagen racing cars, which ran parallel to the established Formula V 1300. The Volkswagen engines had a capacity of 1.6 litres and initially generated 120 hp. Within a few years, this figure had risen to almost 200 hp.

Formula One world champions Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt and Keke Rosberg all began their careers in the various Formula V championships, as did Le Mans winners Gijs van Lennep, Dr. Helmut Marko and Jochen Mass. As such, Formula V formed the basis for the tradition of promoting juniors in motorsport – a tradition that still lives on today through the likes of the ADAC Formula Masters “powered by Volkswagen”.

The best Formula V racing cars from Europe and the USA will complete a “lap of honor” ahead of the start of the legendary 24-hour race. In the cockpits of these iconic cars will be the Formula V heroes from the series’ heyday.


First test drives with the Porsche LMP1 racing car
First test drives with the Porsche LMP1 racing car

The new Porsche LMP1 racing car is currently being put through its paces in test drives on international circuits. Following its successful launch in June on the Porsche test track in Weissach, the prototype sports car ...

Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 14/2013
Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 14/2013

Actor Wotan Wilke Möhring, Allan McNish and Felix Baumgartner attend DTM opening round at Hockenheim. Rahel Frey celebrates her debut in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in China. Successes for the Audi R8 LMS in Sweden and Brazil....

Volkswagen Motorsport Newsletter 03/2013
Volkswagen Motorsport Newsletter 03/2013

The latest Volkswagen Motorsports News from around the world...

EuroCar News on youTube Follow eurocarnews on Twitter