26 March 2013 ~ 3 Comments

Monster machine – Anton Marklund’s Polo T16 bidding for rallycross success

FIA 2013 European Rallycross Championship: Anton Marklund VW Polo T16 4x4

Volkswagen enthusiasts knew that 2013 would bring Polo R WRC action, but it would appear to be a bumper year for Polos in motorsport. In addition to the 315bhp four-wheel drive machines tearing up the world’s rally stages, there are also the established Engen Volkswagen Cup and Volkswagen Polo R-Cup India circuit championships, and the squad of Polo S2000 cars which are competing in the South African National Rally Championship. In addition, Group N Polo 1600s are also rallying through India and South Africa, adding to the car’s motorsport pedigree. And this weekend – at the birthplace of rallycross, Lydden Hill, Kent – sees the UK debut of the most fearsome motorsport machine of the lot – Anton Marklund’s 550+bhp rallycross Polo T16.

Built to compete in the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship, the 20 year-old’s four-wheel drive Polo will compete in the Supercar category, the Swede moving up from the Touringcar class, which he won last season – his first full European championship. The number 92 car has been tested throughout the winter in Marklund’s native Sweden, and took runs at various end-of-season special events last year. ‘Testing on ice has let me learn a lot about driving a four-wheel drive car and made it possible for me to learn fast,’ Marklund commented.

The fearsome Polo (which has three times as much power as the top-spec Polo GTI), was first unveiled October at Santa Pod Raceway in the UK, and Marklund officially represents Volkswagen Sweden in the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship thanks to a two-year sponsorship deal, and has in fact built a pair of Polo T16 4×4s. The two cars will be prepared by Ingvar Gunnarsson Motorsport, who has been given free reign to create a winning concept – one will be Marklund’s competition car, while the other will be used for promotion and as a back-up vehicle. The engine is supplied by Trollspeed, while Marklund hopes that the link with the Polo R WRC will give him and the car extra exposure.

Whatever the cars are used for, it doesn’t detract from how fantastically focused the Polo T16 4×4 looks. Fearsomely aggressive with flared wheelarches dominating the Polo’s basic body shape, the T16 also features a high rear wing – similar in concept to the Polo R WRC’s – and vents in the rear hatch and ducts in the rear wings facilitate cooling for the rear-mounted radiators. It has been announced today that Marklund will take the Polo to three of the Summer Global X Games events, which will mark the first three Global Rallycross Championship starts for Marklund, the youngest ever driver in the series.

Unlike a few of his competitors, Marklund has had some race experience with the Polo T16, running selected, high-profile 2013 pre-season events in both Austria and Belgium. The results so far have exceeded expectations. ‘We did our first test with the car in October last year in Austria — I did 40 laps of testing and then I drove in the Race of Austrian Champions,’ he said. ‘And I was Austrian champion! I beat the four-time Austrian champion with the best time ever on that track, so it went surprisingly well.’ The Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) features the world’s top racing drivers and action sport athletes and combines them with the best elements of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition to deliver intense action in a variety of fan-friendly environments.

We’ll be at that first round of the season at Lydden Hill on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, but you can catch up with Anton Marklund’s and the Polo T16’s season online.
Twitter: @MarklundAnton and www.twitter.com/MarklundAnton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marklundanton
Marklund Motorsport website: http://www.marklundmotorsport.se/anton

FIA European Rallycross Championship
Twitter: @RallycrossRX
Website: http://www.rallycrossrx.com.
Visit www.wetheterrors.com for a 2013 season preview.

[Images: http://jakubnitka.com/]

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