Posted by Iannucci | 1/15/2009 | 11 comments »
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I love the Germans. We give them David Hasselhoff and in return they give the world Heidi Klum and Claudia Schiffer. Michael Schumacher as well, but that's not where I was going.

OK, if we must talk about Germany and racing then fancy this: Racecar Engineering is reporting that things are slowly progressing towards the possibility that your favorite driver may soon be behind the wheel of a little slice of german engineering.

Audi Sport’s head of engine technology Ulrich Baretzky confirmed to Racecar Engineering that the Volkswagen Group has been actively talking to the Indy Racing League since the engine manufactures’ round table held by the IRL in June 2008. Although nothing has yet been confirmed, it is looking increasingly likely that VW will join Honda as an Indy Car engine supplier when the regulations are changed, in theory in 2011.
As much as I've been recoiling at the prospect of having Volkswagen developing or even badging engines in the IndyCar series, I've come to the conclusion it's probably best to accept this just as we've accepted the fact that despite his best efforts Vitor Meira will never actually win an IndyCar race. (You just know he's going to finish second at least a dozen more times before his career is through.)

So who am I to be a snob holding out for a name like "Porsche" instead? If they want to roll out Herbie, chop the top, rip off the fenders, and put one of the cute little flower vases in the cockpit, then I say go for it. Go ahead and "un-pimp" the IRL.

And if we can get Ms Klum behind the wheel, well then, all the better.


  1. Unknown // January 15, 2009 3:24 PM  

    Don't you think they'll use the Audi mark instead of VW? At least it has some racing cache.

  2. Anonymous // January 15, 2009 3:25 PM  

    That's awesome! The more the merrier. Plus I drive a dub. Represent!

  3. Pat W // January 15, 2009 3:49 PM  

    If the IRL distances itself from the whole 'pimping' crowd, that's gotta be a good thing.
    If this turns out to be true expect Red Bull to come back, they sponsor shedloads of VW-Audi Group racing activities.
    Audi is probably more likely though as it ties in with the ramp down of the sportscars. Hmm... Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen to Indy?

  4. Anonymous // January 15, 2009 8:13 PM  

    cant wait for F1!!!!

  5. Anonymous // January 15, 2009 11:06 PM  

    "Too Much Racing said... If the IRl distances itself from the whole 'pimping' crowd, that's gotta be a good thing."

    I just gotta put it out there, that most dubbers are not into the whole "pimping" thing. I'm not knocking your post; I'm just saying, you won't see a true vw enthusiast with vinyl graphics and a fart can exhaust. We actually hate that sh!t. We're more into performance and classic looks than the "wow me" factor. Most guys (that I know anyways) are about improving their lap times and not how much aftermarket crap they can fit on their car. Anyways, can May come soon enough?

  6. vinfan // January 16, 2009 6:24 AM  

    Why not VW? Years back with no factory spnsorship the 4 cyl' air cooled "bug' engine was the terror of the USAC midget series. Drivers such as John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Mel Kenyon and Jeff Gordon all drove to victory behind VW. I know I crewed them at the time.

  7. Billy Coy // January 16, 2009 6:30 AM  

    Hey why not
    they're made in Germany, you know the Germans always make good stuff

    (you following me camera guy ?)

  8. Anonymous // January 16, 2009 8:22 AM  

    Go ahead and "un-pimp" the IRL.

    I can see their first ad now:

    "Guten Tag, mein name is Klaus und today we are here mit the lovely Dan-i-ka"

    (Danica Patrick appears between a white clad Klaus and his blonde female assistant. Danica smiles and waves. Camera pans back to show a familiar blue and black #7 Dallara on a raised platform)

    "Dan-i-ka, is this your ahh-to?"

    "Yes, Klaus, it's my . . "

    (Klaus interrupts) "Dan-i-ka, what is mit der krazy vings all over der ahh-to? It looks like it could fly."

    "Well, the wings work to . . . "

    (Klaus interrupts) "Dan-i-ka, it is time to umpimp zer ahh-to, Ja!"

    (Klaus' assitant comes up and hands him a white remote control with a red button. He presses the button and a huge lead weight marked "20 Tons" drops on ol' #7 and crushes it flat. Klaus turns to the camera and says:)

    "Ohhhh, schnap!"

    (As is predictable, Dan-i-k, sorry, Danica, explodes in fury:)


    (Klaus turns to the camera and smiles) "Dan-i-ka, ve haff ze new ahh-to for you"

    (Camera pans to a second raised platform with a bright red Audi R8 coupe atop it. Danica reacts with excited surprise)

    "You mean it's MINE?"

    "Ja, und mit it you can get der hundreds of speeding tickets."

    (screen appears with "Audi, proud partners of the IRL" on it, with IRL logo. We return to Klaus and an obviously excited to own an R8 Danica)

    "German en-gin-eer-ing in der IRL, BABY"

  9. Ansen Bayer // January 16, 2009 11:24 AM  

    Thanks Vince.

    "Shamwow - you'll be sayin' wow every time."

  10. Pat W // January 17, 2009 12:45 PM  

    Vitorfan: I didn't say they were! I was responding to the 'unpimping'.

    I get the idea that the 'mainstream', i.e. those who aren't race fans or performance car fans, seem to connect the Pimp My Ride crowd to the rest of us just because they both involve cars making loud noises. So let's distance ourselves from them. If VW is marketing the same message, and the YouTube vid suggests that they are over there, then that's a good thing.. isn't it?

  11. Anonymous // January 20, 2009 1:58 AM  

    Too Much Racing,

    I totally agree with you. As I said before, I wasn't knocking your post. I just wanted to put it out there that most dubbers are not your average "tuner" crowd. Just because VW's are made in Germany, we're not really part of the "import scene" We're really just guys that can't afford Porsches :)

    Also, I agree with your statement about Redbull. I think they have a big factor in influencing fans. Think Ed Carpenter when he raced for Cheever. I'm not saying Ed's is all that great, but he's become a decent driver and was fighting for the lead at last years 500.