Stuck dismisses VW NASCAR talk
|By Diego Mejia||Sunday, November 22nd 2009, 20:31 GMT|
Volkswagen motorsport head Hans-Joachim Stuck visited the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead this weekend, but denied press reports suggesting the German brand is considering the series as a future platform.
Stuck said he is simply taking advantage of a holiday trip to visit NASCAR. He met with some series officials during the weekend, but was quick to deny any speculation in the American media suggesting that VW saw NASCAR as an option for the near future.
"I'm here number one because I'm a great NASCAR fan and I'm here on holiday," Stuck told AUTOSPORT. "Of course we investigate everything. We're opening a plant here in Chattanooga within the next two years and we're visiting here. I've heard some reports but there have been no talks, nothing about it. Unfortunately when you have a face that is well known, people bring up some ideas.
"I'm enjoying my visit and I will report what's going on. But in any way there has been nothing, no serious talks about coming here."
Stuck praised NASCAR's spectacle and considers it provides the best racing and gives fans value for money. He also perceives the sport as being less political than Formula 1, but said it probably does not fit with Volkswagen's approach to motorsport.
"To me this year NASCAR is the best racing you'd be looking at," said Stuck. "Forty-three cars on the grid, you see what the car is doing, see how they handle, there's no 'BS' talking about diffusers, you know, it's all handled internally and the people see a good race. But that's very difficult for the Germans to accept, that's the biggest problem.
"Here we can't show our technology. So [Volkswagen] would have to understand that this is a marketing work, and this is not an argument that they would accept. So I would say at the moment there's zero chance [of VW coming]."
Stuck revealed that there are serious talks going on with Volkswagen about a possible entry in the NASCAR-owned Grand-Am sportscar series. He reckons the VW group could use its Audi or Lamborghini brands to enter the series as an engine supplier.
"Yes, this is something that we also have already talked [about]," Stuck confirmed. "It would be nice to get an Audi engine into Grand-Am.
"Audi has a V10 engine which I'm driving in the GT series in Europe, and this engine we could put into a Grand-Am car. The problem is it has to be operated with the NASCAR black box [ECU]. Audi is afraid about how this is going to work, so there are talks and I would say the chances are not too bad.
"And if we can get an Audi engine, then we can also get a Lamborghini engine, because they belong to VW and it's the same engine. This is something we're talking about seriously for 2011.
"I like the prototypes there, maybe the cars could be a little bit nicer, but I also like the GT class because we can run the street car."
Stuck also confirmed VW has held talks with IndyCar officials about a possible entry in the series but said no deal is inminent yet.