Class 11 VW Bugs Set For Repeat Appearance At Crandon

Volkswagen-based race cars have been part of the Crandon off-road races since the event’s earliest days. (Jason Zindrowski photo)

CRANDON, Wisc. — With one of the largest race weekends preparing to invade the Midwest town of Crandon, Wisc., the historic off-road raceway recently announced that the second annual Crandon Class 11 World Championships will return to the Labor Day weekend schedule.

The Crandon Class 11 World Championships are supported by Continental Tire, Gravel Kings, Rugged Radio and Mobelwagen wheels.

While they’ve been a staple since the sport’s inception, in recent years, the nearly stock vintage Volkswagens that comprise Class 11 have seen an uptick in popularity among fans and racers. Almost all of the cars coming to participate in the upcoming championship are making the trek to Wisconsin from the western United States.

Nearly 20 vintage Volkswagens and their teams are expected to make the long journey to Crandon for the 53rd Polaris Crandon World Championships, the largest short-course, off-road race in the world.

The weekend will also play host to the Sportsman and Pro racers of the AMSOIL Championship Off-Road Series and the dynamic rock racing competitors that comprise the Ultra4 series.

Featuring vintage, air-cooled Volkswagen Beetles that remain largely stock — with the exception of modern safety equipment and highly restricted performance upgrades — Class 11 remains a fiercely competitive category even in grueling long distance marathons like the annual BFGoodrich SCORE Baja 1000.

Treated as a Pro category by Crandon International Raceway, Class 11 was added to the schedule in 2021.

Volkswagen-based race cars have been part of the Crandon off-road races since the event’s earliest days. Now enjoying a resurgence, the Class 11 Volkswagens will compete as a feature race on Sept. 2 as part of the Polaris Crandon World Championship’s “Forest County Potawatomi Friday Night Thunder.”

“Admittedly there was some skepticism when we first announced that Crandon was opening up our Polaris World Championship weekend for Class 11 VWs,” explained Crandon Promoter Marty Fiolka. “That quickly went away watching the reaction to these cars from our fans both young and old. With the help of top-tier partners like Continental Tire and Gravel Kings we will proudly host the Crandon Class 11 World Championships on Labor Day weekend for years to come.”

While the overall weekend event and race has yet to be announced, the Class 11 racers will participate in Crandon’s open test day on Sept. 1 and will race the following day.

The weekend’s big race for the Continental Cup and Crandon World Championship rings will take place on Sunday, Sept. 4, as part of the 7th annual Red Bull Crandon World Cup.

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