Archive | 2014 FIA World Rally Championship

20 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Wales win: Ogier scores final 2014 Volkswagen victory at Wales Rally GB

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Great Britain: Ogier/Ingrassia

Volkswagen Motorsport ended its record-breaking World Rally Championship (WRC) season with a win at Wales Rally GB from 13-16 November. Once again Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took the spoils, slipping and sliding their Polo R WRC to finish first ahead of Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, and Citroën’s Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson.

The #2 Polo R WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila came home eighth, a good result after the pair suffered a number of setbacks in north Wales. The British event proved eventful for Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene, too. A handful of early stage wins and four second places on day two were offset by crashes on both day one and day three.

Eighth victory for Ogier
Ogier and Ingrassia’s victory was their eighth of the 2014 season, and it added to Volkswagen Motorsport’s record number of victories in one year tally – the German outfit scored a total of 12 (out of 13 events) during 2014. With the World Champion* and Manufacturers’* titles already in the bag, the pressure was off Ogier, but he still drove like it mattered.

Ogier and Ingrassia shot ahead into a commanding lead of over a minute on day one of Wales Rally GB and then paced themselves on the following two days, barely putting a foot wrong. The usual deadly mixture of fog and wet, muddy conditions were omnipresent on the 305.64 kilometres of Welsh forest gravel stages, but Ogier almost literally sailed through it all.

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29 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Olé! Ogier takes victory and 2014 WRC Drivers’ Championship title at Rally Spain

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Spain: Ogier/Ingrassia

After his disappointing 13th place at Rally France, Sébastien Ogier was once again celebrating at Rally Spain. Taking a double win, the Frenchman celebrated both event and Drivers’ Championship victories with his co-driver Julien Ingrassia.

Once again, the duo clinched the series win before the end of the season, just as in 2013. The defending champions have driven to 7 victories in the 2014 season, with one round – November’s Wales Rally GB – still to go.

It’s a successful story all round, as Volkswagen Motorsport can celebrate its three drivers – Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen are team-mates to Ogier – being the top three drivers in the championship, too.

The 383km Rally Spain (24-26 October) was the eleventh 2014 win for Volkswagen Motorsport and the 23rd of Ogier and Ingrassia’s career. The pair are the only the fourth duo since 1977 to have defended their title successfully and are the eighth twosome to become double world rally champions.

Ogier was more than a little ecstatic: ‘It’s a fantastic feeling to become world champion for a second time! I’m over the moon, it was a real battle to defend the title. In particular, my team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala showed an incredibly strong performance in the last few months.

‘Big thanks to our fantastic team at Volkswagen. Not just for giving us a fantastic car throughout the season. But also for the unique solidarity that we have.

‘It doesn’t matter whether things are going well or badly – the team stands by every driver crew and that is extremely motivating. I’m happy and proud to be part of this team.’

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06 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Allez! Latvala and Anttila
claim historic victory at Rally France

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally France: Latvala/Anttila

It was celebration time again for Volkswagen Motorsport at Rally France (3-5 October), as Finnish duo Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila claimed victory after a tough fight with Norwegian and Finnish team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene.

The Nordic pair finished second. Latvala and Anttila are the first Finns to win an all-asphalt event for just under 15 years. The victory narrows their drivers’ championship challenge to leaders Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia.

It wasn’t quite so clean cut for Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia. The Frenchmen suffered a faulty gear-shift sensor on their Polo R WRC and submitted a time card incorrectly, resulting in a 13th place finish on their home event. It wasn’t not all bad news, though, as they won the Power Stage, picking up three bonus points for the Volkswagen Motorsport team.

Latvala and Antilla were dominant throughout Rally France, taking the lead from the opening stage. They dropped it only once, handing it to Mikkelsen and Fløene. They won nine of the 18 special stages, finishing in the top three on six of the remaining nine stages.

In total Volkswagen won 17 of the 18 special stages with the Polo R WRC, the German outfit’s duos occupying a total of 42 top-three positions over the course of the rally.

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24 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen takes 1-2-3 win and World Championship title at Rally Australia

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Australia: Volkswagen Motorsport team

It’s done it again. Volkswagen Motorsport has claimed its second World Rally Championship with the fearsome Polo R WRC in as many years*. It’s the fastest Manufacturers’ Championship title victory in 25 years, and was secured by a one-two-three podium at Rally Australia from 12-14 September.

Once again Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took the spoils with a dominant drive. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila came home second, while Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene followed behind.

It gets better. With only three rallies remaining in 2014, Ogier/Ingrassia and Latvala/Anttila are the only duos battling it out for the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship title. Defending champions Ogier/Ingrassia are currently leading the standings, with a 50-point lead over their team-mates.

The French duo’s win was the 19th victory for the Polo R WRC in only its 23rd outing, while Latvala’s and Anttila’s second place gave the small car its 35th podium since its debut at the 2013 Rally Monte Carlo.

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25 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Tricky in Trier: Ogier and Latvala crash out of Rally Germany; Mikkelsen is third

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Germany: Latvala/Anttila

In an almost repeat of 2013, Volkswagen Motorsport’s two top drivers spectacularly crashed out of the 2014 ADAC Rallye Deutschland (Rally Germany), which ran around the Trier vineyard region of the country from 21-24 August. Stages included the legendary ‘Panzerplatte’, ‘Dhrontal’ and ‘Grafschaft’.

2014 World Rally Championship leader Sébastien Ogier went off the road on Saturday, with the then rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala following suit the following day.

However, as consolation, the third Volkswagen Motorsport driver Andreas Mikkelsen finished the event on the bottom step of the podium.

Overall victory went to Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul driving an i20 WRC. The Belgians’ Spanish team-mates Dani Sordo and Marc Marti were one place behind them.

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