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Volkswagen's of various models have also been used in circuit racing over the years. At the same time as Porsche Salzburg were running the 1302S and 1303S cars in rallying, a few tuning companies were running Beetles in circuit racing. These tuners managed to get a similar 120bhp from the 1600 engine, so there must have been some common ideas floating around the tuning scene at the time.

Even today, there are various air-cooled Volkswagens still racing around the circuits of the world, whether it be in the single-make championships like the various Beetle Cups, or in the thick of the action with other makes and models.

In the UK in the eary 1990s there was a circuit racing series called the Beetle Cup (styled after the German Käfer Cup). This series eventually folded, but a new team have re-invigorated the idea, and have launched a new series called the Beetle Challenge. Let's hope that this series succeeds!

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Circuit racing Beetles, taken at the Ahvenisto track in Finland, 1999.

© Mikko Hentta

1999 Ahvenisto
Circuit, Finland

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Austrian Circuit
Racing

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Austrian Circuit
Racing

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Austrian Circuit
Racing

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Austrian Circuit
Racing

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The 1964 Nassau Speed Week, showing a Le Mans-style start for the Beetles.

Note the Formula Vs in the background that raced with the Beetles.

© Franz Kern

1964 Nassau
Speed Week

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Portland and Newport, Oregon, in the 1960s

© Steven Smith

1960s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Portland and Newport, Oregon, in the 1960s

© Steven Smith

1960s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Portland and Newport, Oregon, in the 1960s

© Steven Smith

1960s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Portland and Newport, Oregon, in the 1960s

© Steven Smith

1960s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Portland and Newport, Oregon, in the 1960s

© Steven Smith

1960s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Oregon & Washington states in the 1990s

© Steven Smith

1990s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Oregon & Washington states in the 1990s

© Steven Smith

1990s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Oregon & Washington states in the 1990s

© Steven Smith

1990s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Oregon & Washington states in the 1990s

© Steven Smith

1990s Oregon
Racing

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Steven Smith's 1965 Beetle racing in Oregon & Washington states in the 1990s

© Steven Smith

1990s Oregon
Racing

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Edouard Dheere's 1303 Circuit Racer

2004 Colmar-Berg Luxembourg: 2nd place division 1 up to 1600cc and 2nd in the overall standing

© Edouard Dheere

2004 Colmar-Berg
Luxembourg

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Edouard Dheere's 1303 Circuit Racer

2004 Colmar-Berg Luxembourg: 2nd place division 1 up to 1600cc and 2nd in the overall standing

© Edouard Dheere

2004 Colmar-Berg
Luxembourg

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Edouard Dheere's 1303 Circuit Racer

2004 Colmar-Berg Luxembourg: 2nd place division 1 up to 1600cc and 2nd in the overall standing

© Edouard Dheere

2004 Colmar-Berg
Luxembourg

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Edouard Dheere's 1303 Circuit Racer

2003 Spa-Francorchamps: Practice session at the infamous Eau Rouge corner

© Edouard Dheere

2003 Spa-Francorchamps

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Edouard Dheere's 1303 Circuit Racer

2004 Nürburgring Oldtimer Festival:

© Edouard Dheere

2004 Nürburgring
Oldtimer Festival

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Edouard Dheere's 1303 Circuit Racer

2004 Nürburgring Oldtimer Festival:

© Edouard Dheere

2004 Nürburgring
Oldtimer Festival

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Bill Beattie's 1947 in 1961

More information here

© Bill Beattie

1961 Ulster