Click above for high-res gallery of the VW Scirocco GT24
Ever since 2006, when Peugeot, Skoda and Mitsubishi pulled their factory works teams out of the World Rally Championship, the WRC has been desperate to attract another major automaker back to reinvigorate the series. Emerging reports suggest that Volkswagen has been inquiring about joining the championship after the company's motorsport chief Kris Nissen visited the Finnish rally to meet with series officials and team leaders.
Despite being one of the largest automakers in the world, the Volkswagen Group's racing division is proportionately very small. Audi's programs in Le Mans-class prototype racing and German touring cars (DTM) stand out as the biggest exceptions, while SEAT campaigns Leons in both the British and World Touring Car Championships and Skoda in the production-car-based Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Nothing in Formula One, NASCAR or the WRC. The Volkswagen division itself only dabbles in racing periodically, with the Touareg in Dakar and the Scirocco at the Nurburgring 24-hour enduro, in addition to its low-level Formula 3 program. However, the top-tier World Rally Championship would give Volkswagen a chance to claim honors against Ford, Subaru, Citroen and newcomers Suzuki, as well as the privateer teams. Fiat and Renault have also been touted as potential additions to the WRC roster. However, only time will tell which automakers will take the big step up.