F3 VW: Eriksson and Zhou start season with podium finishes

Joël Eriksson © VW

The teenagers Joel Eriksson (S) and Guanyu Zhou (CN) have got Volkswagen off to a successful start in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with two podium finishes. 16-year-old Zhou put in a fantastic performance in a rainy second race at the season opener on the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France, finishing in third place.

This was also the first ever podium finish for a Chinese driver in the history of this talent factory for Formula 1. In the third race, Eriksson (17), who has moved up from ADAC Formula 4, did some spectacular overtaking in his Dallara F-312 equipped with a Volkswagen engine, working his way up from seventh to third place. He also scored points in the other two races, finishing in sixth and ninth place respectively. This puts the Volkswagen driver at the top of the rookie ranking on 58 points, ahead of his Motopark teammate Zhou on 45. « After the good winter tests, a podium finish in Le Castellet is the perfect way to start the season, » said Eriksson. The overall leader is Nick Cassidy of New Zealand, who clinched second place in all three races. The race wins went to Lance Stroll (CDN), Callum Illot (GB) and Maximilian Günther (D). The next racing weekend is from 22 to 24 April on the Hungaroring.

TCR International Series: Kajaia just misses out on podium in Volkswagen GTI TCR
Davit Kajaia of Georgia narrowly missed out on a podium position in his Volkswagen GTI TCR at the start of the TCR International Series season held over the Formula 1 racing weekend. Kajaia, who drives for the privateer team Engstler, finished the second race on the Bahrain International Circuit in fourth place in his 330 hp Volkswagen. After ten laps in intense heat on the desert circuit, Kajaia was trailing Seat driver Pepe Oriola (E) by a mere 10.265 seconds. Oriola was successful in both races and has now moved into first place overall. Kajaia completed the first race in ninth place, two places behind the top Volkswagen finisher, Stefano Comini of Switzerland. Comini, who races for Leopard Racing, won last year’s TCR championship. The four Volkswagen GTI TCR vehicles will battle it out for podium positions once again in Estoril, Portugal, from 22 to 24 April.

British Touring Car Championship: Aron Smith takes third place in Volkswagen CC
Aron Smith drove excellently in the opener of the new British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season, securing a podium position in his Volkswagen CC. The Irishman started the second race held on the legendary Brands Hatch circuit in seventh place, but moved up to third place. At the end of 26 laps, Smith was just 3.132 seconds behind the victorious defending champion Gorden Shedden (GB). Facing a field of strong competitors, Smith also finished the other two races in the top ten, taking eighth and tenth place respectively. « I dedicate my podium position to my team BKR. Hats off to the crew for everything they achieved, » commented the Volkswagen driver. The next round of this popular championship will take place in Donington on 16 and 17 April.

Volkswagen Fun Cup Europe: Bustin by DN’s triumphs in 8-hour race in Spa
The team Bustin by DN’s triumphed in the first race of the European Volkswagen Fun Cup. After almost eight hours and 137 laps, Dominique Bustin, Maxime Lieutenant, Sebastien Kluyskens and Sam Dejonghe fended off the 83 other Beetles that competed in this hugely popular series on the legendary Formula 1 racetrack at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The foursome also won the Fun Cup Belgium category. The team in second place overall, SPI comprising Georges Journet, Julien Andlauer and Alain Ferté, won the Fun Cup France category. They were leading right up to the final pit stop, only to be overtaken by the Bustin by DN’s team. Third place went to the Belgian team Concept Expo by Milo with Fred Bouvy, Marc van Cutsem and Lorenzo Donniacuo.  

Press Release VW,