Formula Vau returns to the Norisring
It was the biggest international young-gun series in single-seater racing: the Formula Vau. In 1965, it made its first appearance on German soil – at the Norisring. And now, 50 years later, the ancestors of today’s young-gun categories, such as Formula 3, will once again be racing through the Grundig-Kehre, Schöller-S and Dutzendteich-Kehre. During the International ADAC Norisring Speedweekend, from 26th to 28th June, some 50 Formula Vau vehicles will entertain the crowds with demo laps. For the fans, the huge field of classic young-driver single-seaters certainly will be one of the highlights in the DTM support programme.
The category for the small single-seaters based on VW-Beetle technology was created back in 1964 in the USA. A short time later, Dr Ferry Porsche and his Motorsport Director, Huschke von Hanstein, imported 12 Formula Vau racers to Germany. Following a test appearance in the Eberbach Hill climb, Formula Vau made its Germany debut in summer 1965 at the Norisring. The first vehicles – the ‘Beach’ and the Formcar’, produced some 40bhp and accelerated to a top speed of about 160kph. In the beginning, a lot of people scoffed at the strange cars from the USA but the series quickly established as serious young-talent class. Before long, Formula Vau was at home at all the European racetracks and quickly turned into the talent pool for the higher motor-racing categories: here, drivers such as Niki Lauda, Dr Helmut Marko, Dieter Quester, Harald Ertl, Jochen Rindt, Jacky Ickx and many others here made their first steps on the motor-racing ladder.
“The retrospect at the Norisring reflects the entire history of Formula Vau. From the beginning in the 1960s through the more powerful Formula Super Vau to the modern Formula Vau” says Dr Frank Michael Orthey, Chairman of the club ‘Historic Formula Vau Europa’. One of the oldest vehicles of the field will be the Beach MK 5B of Manfred Nord, built in 1963 and so, one of the very first Formula Vau racers. Altogether, the Formula Vau field will feature cars of 23 manufacturers. In the open paddock, the fans can watch the drivers working on their historic gems at close range and ask them questions regarding the usually very long history of their vehicles. And on the track, the tradition-rich single-seaters can be admired on Saturday from 18:55 to 19:25hrs CEST (17:55 to 1:25hrs BST) and on Sunday from 16:40 to 17:10hrs CEST. The laps of the historic young-driver vehicles will be accompanied by the competent and certainly witty comments of two true experts: journalist Rainer Braun, in 1965 guest driver in the Norisring race and track-announcer legend Jochen Luck, for decades the voice at every single Grand Prix in Germany.