Volkswagen to cease all motorsport operations

Volkswagen has announced it will end all of its motorsport programmes.

Volkswagen to cease all motorsport operations
Listen to this article

The German manufacturer decided last year to cease factory support of all programmes using an internal combustion engine, instead putting a "clear emphasis on fully electric racing cars".

However, a day after Audi went public with its decision to quit Formula E as a works entry at the end of the 2020/21 season, VW has now canned all of its motorsport projects.

According to a statement, this move comes as "part of the company's realignment". The 169 employers of the VW Motorsport GmbH division will be integrated into the wider Volkswagen AG network.

Read Also:

Chief development officer of the VW brand Frank Welsch said: "The Volkswagen brand is on its way to becoming the leading supplier in sustainable electric mobility.

"To this end, we are joining forces and have decided to discontinue our own motorsport activities for the Volkswagen brand. The motorsport workforce will subsequently be integrated into Volkswagen AG.

"The deep technical expertise of the employees as well as the gained know-how from the ID.R [all-electric prototype] project will thus remain in the company and will help us to bring further efficient models of the ID family onto the road."

Meanwhile, the spare parts supply for the Polo GTI R5 rally car and the Golf GTI TCR touring car have been "ensured in the long term", while the production of the Polo R5 itself will cease at the end of 2020.

Wilfried von Rath, chief human resources officer at VW, added: "The team of Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH has achieved significant sporting successes for the brand over decades.

"For the many victories, titles and records around the globe and their personal commitment, I sincerely thank all employees.

"We are pleased that we will receive employment at this challenging time and will make a takeover offer to all employees."

In its five-decade history in racing, VW has notably backed the Formula Vee category and enjoyed success at Formula 3 level.

Its Polo won four constructors' World Rally Championship titles with Sebastien Ogier between 2013 and '16, in addition to three Dakar Rally wins for the Touareg.

The ID.R prototype also hold the outright Goodwood and Pikes Peak hillclimb records in addition to the electric lap record for the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

An Audi spokesperson told Motorsport.com that its decision to quit FE and the VW Motorsport plan had been made separately and were not part of an overarching VW Group strategy.

shares
comments
Leading circuits in the UK receive government funding
Previous article

Leading circuits in the UK receive government funding

Next article

Motorsport Network sweeps Supercars Awards

Motorsport Network sweeps Supercars Awards
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Prime

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Prime

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Motorsport.com has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates.

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Prime

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Prime

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 20, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Prime

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

General
May 2, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Prime

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be.

General
Apr 21, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Prime

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them.

General
Jan 31, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020