Archive | WRC

16 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Polo R WRC promotes Volkswagen rally successes with high-profile appearances

The Polo R WRC may have finished competitive duties for 2014, but a series of promotional activities has ensured Volkswagen’s World Rally Championship-winning car has remained in the public’s consciousness, no doubt increasing the visibility of the VW brand.

‘Wetten, dass..?’ parkhaus challenge
Last weekend, more than nine million viewers of German TV show ‘Wetten, dass..?’ (‘You Bet’) watched the reigning World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier compete against a climber in a timed ascent and descent of a multi-storey car park or ‘parkhaus’.

TV channel ZDF said goodbye to the long-running programme in some style as Ogier’s 300bhp Polo R WRC blared, slid, and slithered up and down the car park’s damp access ramps and rooftop.

Jakob Vöckler challenged Ogier to the duel, claiming he could climb up and down the exterior of the car park faster than the Frenchman who was driving his rally Polo inside the building.

The climber from Munich was faster in the end, Ogier not quite being able to guide the Polo through the serpentine car park fast enough. ‘Congratulations to Jakob. It was something new driving through a multi-storey car park to win a bet and was enormous fun,’ commented the Volkswagen driver.

Barcelona taxi ride

Ogier has been busy showing of the rally Polo in the mountains above Montserrat in Barcelona, too. Brazilian striker Neymar Jr, of FC Barcelona football club donned VW Motorsport overalls to be co-driver for the French rally driver.

Or at least that was the plan. Ogier’s extreme driving style quickly rendered him useless. Seeing the football player is unable to cope, Ogier instructs him to lose his ‘pace notes’ and ‘Just sit back and enjoy the ride’.

Unashamedly a promotional video for one of Volkwagen’s motorsport partners, Red Bull, it does show the Polo R WRC to dramatic and aggressive effect.

Award ceremonies

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC: FIA Prizegiving Ceremony

The Polo R WRC has also been to International Automobile Federation (FIA) Prize-Giving Gala in Doha where Volkswagen was presented with the trophies for the 2014 Manufacturer, Driver and Co-Driver titles in the FIA World Rally Championship.

The car and Sébastien Ogier were also among the prizewinners at the 2014 Autosport Awards in London. Readers of the UK magazine voted the Polo R WRC the ‘Rally Car of the Year’, while Ogier won the ‘International Rally Driver of the Year’ title.

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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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