Archive | 2015 FIA World Rally Championship

31 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The PoloDriver review of 2015

It’s been another busy year for the Volkswagen Polo. The model has celebrated its 40th birthday with an exhibition of rare models at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, and the revised fifth-generation Polo range has been completed with the addition of new BlueMotion TSI and GTI models.

On the asphalt and gravel stages of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship, the Polo has, like 2013 and 2014, once again come out on top. Just like last year, the Polo R WRC has won 12 events out of 13, taking the Manufacturers’ Championship title for Volkswagen Motorsport and has also carried Frenchmen Sébastien Ogier the Julien Ingrassia to their third consecutive Drivers’ Championship prize.

Other Polo-based motorsport series have also continued around the globe, with Wolfsburg’s small car taking an even larger presence in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, as well as being a track machine in many countries. Here, we round up the Polo’s biggest achievements in 2015. (Bold entries are illustrated by the picture above that particular month.)

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg


– Polo and Vento help Volkswagen India achieve record 2014 production figures
– Milltek Sport cat-back twin 80mm exhaust system launched for Polo R WRC road car
– Uprated Polo GT and new Polo GTI under consideration for India
– Volkswagen Motorsport unwraps second-generation Polo R WRC
– New petrol-powered 1.2-litre Cross Polo for India
– Indian-only Volkswagen Polo R-Cup series makes way for Vento Cup in 2015
– Our cars: 2001 Polo GTI – report eleven
– 2015 Polo R WRC makes dream debut at Rally Monte Carlo with Volkswagen 1-2-3
– Polo is the second best-selling car in Europe
– Polo is the eighth best-selling car in the UK.

1981 Volkswagen Polo C Formel E featured a rear window spoiler to improve aerodynamics


– launches new model profile series: the eco Polos

– Sébastien Ogier sweeps to spectacular 2015 Rally Sweden win
– Our cars: 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI – report one
– Sheldon van der Linde hat-trick at 2015 Engen Volkswagen Cup opener
– Refreshed Polo hatchback heads to the Philippines
– Volkswagen does the double: Golf and Polo still Europe’s top sellers.

KW Automotive announce ST suspension kits for 2013 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

– Volkswagen India launches the special edition Vento Magnific
– Sébastien Ogier celebrates third 2015 WRC victory with Rally Mexico win
– KW Automotive launches coilover suspension kit for Polo R WRC
– Volkswagen Sweden backs two teams in 2015 World Rallycross series assault
– Polo GT TDI wins Budget Driver’s Car of the Year at the Indian Zeegnition Auto Awards 2015
– Vento DSG wins Auto Bild India Golden Steering Wheel award
– Polo wins Carbuyer 2015 Best Small Car award
– Polo is the sixth best-selling car in the UK.

Techno Classica 2015: 1975 Volkswagen Polo


– Volkswagen celebrates 40 years of the Polo at Techno Classica 2015

– Volkswagen South Africa launches the new 2015 141kW Polo GTI
– Zulu and Arries celebrate Polo S2000 podium position at 2015 Sasol Rally
– drives the 2015 189bhp 6C Polo GTI
– Retirements force Volkswagen out of podium places at Rally Argentina
– Polo is the sixth best-selling car in the UK.

2015 Volkswagen Polo S2000, Secunda Rally: Zulu/Auffray

– Johan Kristoffersson scores maiden win at World RX of Portugal
– Toomas Heikkinen highest-placed Polo driver at World RX of Hockenheim
– Volkswagen Australia issues recall for 2015 Polo 1.2 TSI models
– Gugu Zulu scores Volkswagen Sasolracing result at Secunda Motor Rally
– Toomas Heikkinen wins World RX of Belgium
– Polo is the seventh best-selling car in the UK.

2015 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Eclipse


– Our cars: 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI – report two
– Johan Kristoffersson puts Polo on the podium at World RX of Great Britain
– Revised Polo saloon for India and Russia unveiled
– Latvala heads Volkswagen podium lock-out at Rally Portugal
– Volkswagen South Africa announces Polo Vivo Eclipse special edition
– Ogier snatches third Sardinian Volkswagen victory at 2015 Rally Italy
– Polo is 500,000th car produced at Volkswagen India factory
– Volkswagen Australia recalls refreshed fifth-generation Polo for seat issue
– Johan Kristoffersson finishes fourth at World RX of Germany
– Tommy Rustad takes Euro RX win
– Polo is the eighth best-selling car in the UK.



– Toomas Heikkinen sweeps to fourth at World RX of Sweden
– Webcon reintroduces 1043cc carburettor kit for 1981-1985 Polo and Derby
– Volkswagen Australia realigns Polo range with 2016 model year upgrades
– Volkswagen Polo scoops Auto Express Supermini of the Year 2015 award
– ‘40 Years Polo’ exhibition opens at AutoMuseum Volkswagen
– Club Polo 2015 Polo Social event celebrates 40 years of the Polo.



– Volkswagen’s Ogier and Mikkelsen take one-two at Rally Poland
– HG Motorsport unveils 260bhp 6C Polo GTI
– Volkswagen Polo’s 40th anniversary celebrated with ‘Original’ limited edition model
– Sheldon van der Linde does the Engen Volkswagen Cup double at Zwartkops
– Polo is the fifth best-selling car in the UK.


– Polo Trophy special edition launched in Malaysia
– Volkswagen wins Rally Australia; takes WRC titles for third consecutive year
– Johan Kristoffersson’s Polo RX second at World RX of Spain
– Podium success for Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000s at Toyota Cape Dealer Rally
– Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal breaks
– Polo is the fifth best-selling car in the UK.

5000,000th South African-built Volkswagen Polo

– Polo BlueMotion TSI completes Volkswagen South Africa new Polo range
– Volkswagen India recalls 389 Polo models due to handbrake defect
– Latvala and Anttila take Polo R WRC to victory in Rally Spain
– Volkswagen India launches limited edition Polo Exquisite and Vento Highline Plus
– 1.2-litre TDI Polo engine also caught up in ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal
– Revised Polo Sedan launched by Volkswagen South Africa
– ABT Sportsline celebrates Polo’s 40th birthday with 230bhp upgrade
– 500,000th Polo produced at Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory
– Andreas Mikkelsen claims maiden WRC win at Rally Spain
– Polo is the seventh best-selling car in the UK.

2015 Volkswagen Polo Sedan

– Revised petrol-only Volkswagen Polo Sedan launched in Argentina
– Our cars: 2001 Polo GTI – report twelve
– Sébastien Ogier scores hat-trick and eighth 2015 WRC win at 2015 Rally Great Britain
– Selected Polo TDI and TSI models affected in Volkswagen CO2 emissions issue
– Polo Vivo remains number one best-seller in South Africa; new Street model launched.

2015 Volkswagen Allstar range

– Volkswagen Vento rated a five-star car in Latin NCAP creash tests
– Volkswagen Motorsport takes first, second and third 2015 WRC drivers’ titles
– Volkswagen Polo R WRC awarded Autosport Rally Car of the Year
– Our cars: 2013 Polo R-Line – report four
– Polo Allstar special edition launched
– Polo ends 2015 as the sixth best-selling car in the UK.

It’s once again been a busy Polo year for Volkswagen and also for all here at PoloDriver. We would like to thank the loyal readers and followers who have helped make the year another fantastically enjoyable one, and hope that you’ll enjoy the developments and stories coming to the website in 2016, which will include full coverage of the 40 Years Polo exhibition at AutoMuseum Volkswagen.

[Click on the ‘Polo 2009-’, ‘WRC’ and ‘Motorsport’ tags in the category drop-down list in the right-hand sidebar of the website to see all entries pertaining to the revised fifth-generation Polo, Polo R WRC, and Polo motorsport activity respectively. Choose other category or month sections for relevant entries.]

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09 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Polo R WRC and Volkswagen rally drivers celebrated with end of season awards

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC: Sébastien Ogier and Julien ingrassia at FIA Prize-giving Gala

The Volkswagen Polo R WRC and its pace-setting drivers have been collecting pre-Christmas presents in the form of awards that celebrate the third and most profitable Volkswagen Motorsport World Rally Championship year to date.

2015 FIA Prize-giving Gala
First, the Volkswagen Motorsport team and Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia received their trophies for their 2015 World Rally Championship manufacturer and drivers’ titles at the FIA Prize-giving Gala in Paris. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila as well as and Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene also picked up their awards for finishing second and third overall respectively in the 2015 drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships.

Overall, the Volkswagen WRC team had 12 wins and 26 podium finishes in 2015, with each driver pairing taking at least one win (Mikkelsen and Fløene scored their first at Rally Spain) and stepping on to the podium at least seven times.

2015 Autosport Awards
Ogier and the Polo R WRC were also recognised at the 2015 Autosport Awards, collecting the Rally Driver and Rally Car of the Year titles respectively. The statistics are truly impressive. Sebastian Ogier (who collected the Autosport award for the third consecutive time since 2013) amassed 263 championship points in 2015, won eight events and was 80 points ahead of his nearest rival, team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

The Polo R WRC meanwhile (again, a third Autosport award winner) has won 34 out of 39 events, scored 12 back-to-back wins, and taken the same number of victories in both 2014 and 2015. The three Polo R WRCs notched up a total distance of 11,832 kilometres at high speed in 2015, while Volkswagen Motorsport drivers won 159 out of 231 fastest stage times in addition to 12 out of 13 power stage victories.

Ola Fløene departs VW
Just after the ceremonies, in a shock announcement, it was made public that Ola Fløene will leave Volkswagen Motorsport in 2016 to join M-Sport Ford and be co-driver for Mads Østberg.

The 46 year-old has co-driven for Andreas Mikkelsen for a number of years off and on, the the pair won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in both 2011 and 2012. The partnership also achieved 13 podium finishes and 21 rallies in 2014 and 2015.

Sitting beside Mikkelsen in 2016 will be Anders Jæger, who moves up from the Junior WRC category where he was in charge of pace notes for Polo RX driver Ole Christian Veiby. The
26 year-old not only shares his age with Mikkelsen but also his Norwegian nationality and has form with his compatriot, acting as co-driver on Volkswagen Motorsport test drive events in Sweden.

2016 Rally Monte Carlo
As with the previous seasons, we at PoloDriver have enjoyed watching the many battles, stages and moments of drama within the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship. Our highlights include the Polo finally winning Rally Germany as well as Andreas Mikkelsen’s first WRC event win on the Spanish round of the series – it was a long time coming!

We wish the Volkswagen Motorsport team all the best of the season and also for 2016, when the first event, Rally Monte Carlo, kicks off on 22-24 January.

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16 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ogier scores hat-trick and eighth season win at 2015 Rally Great Britain

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Great Britain: Ogier/Ingrassia

Sébastien Ogier rewrote his Rally Great Britain story at the 2015 event, taking victory once more and completing his hat-trick at the traditional last round of the World Rally Championship. Conquering some of the most challenging conditions the event has ever seen with heavy rain and gale force winds, the Frenchman dedicated his win to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks which occurred on the evening of the first day.

Ogier sets the pace
Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia set the pace from the start on their way to their eighth win of the season. The three-time world champions powered through the mud, water splashes and pine-lined forests of the 19 Welsh stages and 309.87km, and fought off an early threat from team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila. It was left to British driver Kris Meeke to subsequently try to hunt Ogier down.

The Frenchmen kept Meeke and his co-driver Paul Nagle 13.5 seconds behind at the end of day one, and kept up the speed on day two to maintain a winning run on the Welsh event, which began in 2013. On completion of the final Brenig Power Stage, the duo from France unfurled a large Tricolore flag and draped it over the bonnet of their 318bhp Polo R WRC in a mark of respect for the weekend’s tragic events in Paris.

‘Difficult weekend’
An emotional Ogier dedicated his triumph to the victims of the Paris attacks, too: “It’s been a very difficult weekend with the events elsewhere. Mentally, it wasn’t easy to continue after what happened on Friday in France, but in these situations, you have to carry on even stronger than before and remain united.

’Now is not the time to celebrate and it’s not easy for me to find the right words to say at the moment, but as a small sign of support, I want to dedicate this victory to the memory of all those who lost their lives and everybody else affected by these tragic events,’ he continued.

The world champion further described how he felt: “From a sporting point of view, this result is the icing on the cake at the end of what has been a virtually perfect season for us. This would not have been possible without the magnificent team spirit and fantastic job done by everyone in the Volkswagen team.

‘It will be very, very difficult to improve on a run of success like this next year. The opposition will not relax over the winter: our rivals are sure to push hard to close the gap. We did not have any
problems on the final day of the Rally Wales. Unlike in Spain, I decided not to take any risks
on the Power Stage this time. Given the tricky conditions today, this was the right strategy,’ he reflected.

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28 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Spanish celebrations: Mikkelsen claims maiden WRC win at Rally Spain

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Spain: Mikkelsen/Fløene

At last! Volkswagen’s rising rallying star Andreas Mikkelsen took his first FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) win at the recent Rally Spain, which took place in the Catalonia region from 22-25 October. The penultimate round of the 2015 series, the last two runnings of the event were won by Mikkelsen’s team-mate and current world rally champion Sébastien Ogier.

Seventh 2015 one-two
The young Norwegian Mikkelsen has risen through the rallying ranks and was part of Volkswagen’s S2000 programme which readied the squad for WRC glory using Skoda Fabia S2000s in the lead-up to a full world championship assault in 2013.

Mikkelsen and his co-driver Ola Fløene’s Spanish win gave Volkswagen Motorsport its seventh 2015 one-two in Spain, ahead of Finns Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila. After 63 starts and 12 podium positions, Mikkelsen and Fløene finally stood on the top step on the rostrum and took their well-deserved plaudits.

Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were forced to retire after a rare slip-up saw them hit a crash barrier on the asphalt section of the event and render their Polo R WRC undrivable due to the severity of the damage the car sustained. The result didn’t matter however: Ogier and Ingrassia have already been crowned overall 2015 world rally champions*.

Dramatic end
It was a close and dramatic end to a spectacular event, the only one on the WRC calendar to mix both gravel and asphalt surfaces. (The Volkswagen Motorsport mechanics changed over 4044 individual parts including wheels, gearbox, chassis geometry and dampers, and transformed the Polo R WRC from gravel muncher to asphalt skimmer in around 75 minutes!)

A puncture on the 12th stage brought Latvala’s duel with rally leader Ogier to a premature end, with the Finn losing almost a minute. But, through a determined drive, he bounced back into second place and into another fight, this time with Mikkelsen. A game of cat and mouse then saw Latvala suffer another puncture in stage 20, while Mikkelsen spun his car on stage 21 which cost him time.

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10 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Finns take Rally France: Volkswagen’s Latvala and Anttila victorious in Corsica

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally France: Latvala/Anttila

In a repeat of 2014, Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila took victory at the 2015 Rally France, held on the island of Corsica from 1 to 4 October. Last year the Finnish pair and their Polo R WRC won the French event, staged in the Alsace region of the country. M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt were second, while Volkswagen Motorsport team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene rounded out the podium.

Notable by their absence, soon-to-be-confirmed* 2015 world champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia finished the event in 15th place, after a brace of maladies affecting Polo R WRC #1. A slow puncture on day one lost the French duo 1 minute and 40 seconds and they were then handed a 10-minute penalty for changing the gearbox outside of a regular service. The pair started the Corsican event again under under Rally 2 regulations.

Adverse weather conditions
Adverse weather conditions – which included heavy rainfall and landslides – led to the cancellation of two of the nine 2015 Rally France stages. That didn’t stop Latvala, though, who, along with Anttila, are only the second Finnish crew to win an event on the Mediterranean island after Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki took the spoils in 1983 and 1984.

An elated Latvala said: ‘I am struggling to put it all into words. It is a fantastic feeling to win here on Corsica. The conditions were not easy again today, as we were constantly switching between dry and damp sections. And my lead over Elfyn Evans was not exactly what you would call comfortable.

‘Despite this, I wanted to avoid taking too many risks, to extend my lead in a controlled and cool manner, and to wrap up the win. I did exactly that. I would like to dedicate my victory to my idol Henri Toivonen, who lost his life in Corsica. That is another reason why today is such a special day for me.’

A second win on asphalt
The Finns’ top podium spot marks the pair’s second win on asphalt (not a rallying Finns’ traditional winning surface), their 15th in total and eighth in the Volkswagen Polo R WRC. The win also bolsters Latvala’s second place standing in the overall drivers’ points table and makes it more difficult for third-placed Volkswagen driver Mikkelsen to gain ground on the 30 year-old.

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