Published on March 21st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Volkswagen Motorsports. Comeback After 34 Years
The date is April 1976. At a packed Hockenheim Motordrom, around 80,000 spectators witnessed the first Volkswagen Cup – the VW Junior Cup was born. The principle was one of equal opportunities: each driver entered the race in an identical, 105 hp Scirocco, guaranteeing close and thrilling duels. A special series of 50 Scirocco cars was designed for the cup, each painted black and set up for motor sport.
Besides inexperienced young drivers, a number of celebrity guest drivers also lined up on the starting grid: at the airfield race on the island of Sylt, rock star Udo Lindenberg provided a memorable highlight: on the very first lap he spun off several times, became disoriented, subsequently drove boldly in the wrong direction towards the onrushing stream of cars and ended up uninjured in a field in his Scirocco. Among the more accomplished drivers in the inaugural season was the later Formula 1 driver Manfred Winkelhock, who won three races. The championship was won by Willi Bergmeister.
In 2010, the Scirocco Cup was resurrected – as the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup, with all races being held as part of the DTM. Scirocco cars powered by compressed natural gas and initially capable of up to 275 hp are used. Using alternative fuel made it possible to reduce the vehicle’s carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent.
The competition itself takes the same form: the use of one main vehicle and the exchange of cup vehicles guarantee the greatest possible equality for all drivers. Only the steering wheel and seat position are variable; otherwise, only the front stabiliser and the air pressure in the tyres can be adjusted.
The story continues. When the drivers in the Scirocco R-Cup line up on the starting grid, even seasoned DTM stars seek out the best places by the pit wall or in front of the television screen. It is clear that within the space of a few years, the world’s most environmentally friendly one-make cup has become a firm favourite among the crowds that gather during the DTM weekends.