RacingLine was formed in 1997, originally named Volkswagen Motorsport UK, fully owned by the Volkswagen Group AG in Germany. Back in those days, we concentrated on our British Rally Championship programme.
The first car we competed with was the Golf 3 ‘Kit Car’ using a high-revving 2.0 16v engine producing 285 HP / 8250 rpm. With two cars, driven by Alister McRae and Tapio Laukkanen, we won the 1997 British Rally Championship.
In 1999 the wonderful, wide-arched Golf 4 ‘Kit Car’ arrived. We entered two cars into the British Rally Championship, using 2.0 20V naturally aspirated Lehmann engines with Mark Higgins and Raimund Baumschlager behind the wheel of each. We came second overall in that year’s BRC.
In 2000, we also entered a Golf 4 Kit Car in diesel form alongside our petrol version, with Neil Simpson at the wheel – the first (and only) time anyone had used TDI in the BRC.
In 2001 we transferred over to the FIA’s new Super 1600 category. It was a difficult year, with the British Rally Championship significantly reduced because of Foot and Mouth disease hitting the UK.
Running the Hannover-built Polo GTI S1600 with a tricky high-revving Lehmann engine, second place in that year’s championship was probably a better result than we deserved! At the same time the team rebranded that year under the manufacturer’s new ‘Volkswagen Racing’ corporate identity.
By 2002, changes in British Rallying regulations were afoot meaning that Volkswagen no longer had a car that could win. We re-concentrated our efforts away from the forests and towards circuit racing in the form of our Volkswagen Racing Cup Championship, still flourishing all these years on.
The team’s first build of a circuit car was pretty unique, as we used a 1.9 TDI diesel engine in a Golf 4. With the car’s first win at Thruxton circuit, we entered the record books claiming the world’s first ever victory in a sprint race format for a diesel car.
We had a bit of fun in 2004 with the Caddy racer, built for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as a show-stopper for the new model. We’d hit another world-first back in late 2002 with the first-gen Caddy racer as the first ever competitive racing van.
The 2004 model represented a big step forward. Using a high-powered 2.0 TDI engine and heavily modified rear suspension, it was perfectly capable of mixing
it with the Golf GTIs and R32s in the race
championship at the time.
2005 saw the introduction of the Golf 5 GTI. The year before, we had been the first in the world to enter the Golf 5 into motorsport, using a TDI engine, but the new 2.0 TFSI engine in the GTI was too good to resist.
The first GTI to come into the country, a LHD pre-production car that had been used for the launch photography and filming of the TV ad. This same car was delivered to us for promotional purposes and also gave us the opportunity to develop and test new parts.
An unusual challenge for the team in 2013. The British GT Championship needed a Safety Car – something capable of staying in front of the Aston, Ferrari and Porsche GT3 cars on track.
What better car than the brand new Golf 7R? Using the first 7R in the UK, we fitted every part from the RacingLine catalogue and boosted the power as high as we could take iit. Which more than did the job!
RacingLine added some heavy firepower to the fleet in 2016, with the addition of an Audi R8 24hr race car.
Not content with just one racing R8 though, we also entered into a partnership to take on the World Time Attack world finals in Sydney, Australia with another Audi – this version running a mighty V10 with twin turbos and over 1200bhp. Both R8s are proudly sporting matching liveries in the new RacingLine branding – and we think look pretty stunning!
2017 has seen RacingLine move into the latest worldwide motorsport sensation – the TCR Touring Car formula. RacingLine is partnering with Volkswagen Motorsport, Audi Sport and SEAT Sport for race car sales, along with parts and engineering support.
Not only that, in partnership with RacingLine Japan, we have our own Golf GTI TCR competing. That car claimed a pole to flag win at the 10 hour endurance race at Fuji on only its second outing!!
OUR LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY
RacingLine Group is based in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. We are a tier-1 partner to the Volkswagen Group, and to many we are best known for delivering the Volkswagen Racing motorsport programme ever since 1997. It was out of this manufacturer motorsport program that our increasingly popular Motorsport & Performance Parts range was born, now sold all over the world.
When you understand our history, it's no surprise that we are so close to VWG. RacingLine was originally founded by Volkswagen Group, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH in Hannover, Germany.
Over the two decades that we have been running the Volkswagen motorsport programme, we've had the privilege to build and run some of the competition cars shown above, competing in the premier levels of race and rally on behalf of the manufacturer around the globe. Throughout, we have been engaged in a programme of constant engineering development of motorsport parts for our own race and rally cars, plus our worldwide customers – with some great success.
And it is this unrivalled experience and partnership with Volkswagen Group, both through ‘works’ motorsport and via the relationships that we have nurtured directly with the OEMs that has led us to develop the RacingLine Performance Parts & Software range, today sold through our distributors all around the world. We believe that we bring a very different approach to the performance aftermarket.
Meanwhile, alongside our ever-growing Performance Parts programme, RacingLine’s motorsport heart beats as strong as ever. As well as our TCR partnership with Audi Sport, Volkswagen Motorsport and SEAT Sport, we also run and promote the FIA's ‘Formula 4’ Championship in the UK, discovering the single-seater racing stars of the future. And of course our own Audi R8 GT endurance racer is a project that keeps our passion at the forefront.
But there’s much more to the wider RacingLine Group than just the Performance Parts and Motorsport programmes that many know us for.
Our in-house Events company, RacingLine Events, is also a Tier-1 supplier to Volkswagen Group, delivering hundreds of corporate events per year for the different automotive brands, ranging from international vehicle launches, to high-performance driving events, to manufacturer training, to conference and incentive work.
RacingLine Group rolls together our huge passion for Volkswagen Group products (and, let’s be honest, making them go faster) with the reassurance of quality and responsibility that comes from our nearly twenty year relationship with the manufacturer themselves.
We hope you enjoy looking around our site, and thank you for choosing RacingLine.