19 May 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Three-car triumph for Volkswagen Motorsport at Rally Argentina

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

Volkswagen celebrated its fifth win in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship at Rally Argentina (8-11 May), where Jari-Matti Latvala came home first, closely followed by current World Champion Sébastien Ogier. The third team driver, Andreas Mikkelsen, finished fourth, securing the best result yet for the German outfit in the history of the WRC. It was the record-breaking ninth consecutive win for Volkswagen.

Despite sometimes atrocious weather conditions, spectators watched a thrilling duel unfold between Ogier and Latvala over the 405km rally. The Frenchman claimed the first two Special Stages. Latvala fought back during the event’s longest stage, setting the fastest time and putting him and co-driver Miikka Anttila at the top of the leaderboard.

Before the first day’s rallying had finished, the first place had changed hands twice more between Latvala and Ogier. The Finn dominated on days two and three and gained the upper hand, winning eight stages compared to Ogier’s one. In so doing, Latvala closed the gap between him and Ogier in the WRC Drivers’ Championship points table to 24 points.

‘Of course I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the Rally Argentina. It’s been quite a few years since a Finn won this rally. Fighting it out with Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia was great. My co-driver Miikka Anttila contributed enormously to our success because his instructions safely guided us through some extremely difficult sections,’ said Latvala.

He continued: ‘Huge thanks go to the whole Volkswagen team too, because our Polo was always perfectly prepared and withstood the immense strain right until the end. This victory means a lot to me personally because we won this tricky rally on our own merit, which shows that we’re still a force to be reckoned with in the World Championship.’

Ogier’s second place means he still leads the overall championship. Extra points are awarded in the final Power Stage for the best three pairings in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship. Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia finished 10.5 seconds ahead of Ford Fiesta driver Mikko Hirvonen on the ‘El Condor’ stage, and a tenth of a second ahead of Latvala. Four of the six extra points went to the Wolfsburg-based team as a result.

Sébastien Ogier commented: ‘The conditions at this Rally Argentina were the most difficult ones I’ve experienced for a long time. The road conditions were incredibly tough on the drivers and the cars, so I’m very happy with second place. I’d like to congratulate Jari-Matti, who put in a strong performance and deserved to win. I’m actually pleased that people are realising it’s not as easy to win as it might sometimes look.’

Mikkelsen’s fourth place meanwhile, contributed to his third place in the Drivers’ Championship points table. Doggedly working his way up the leaderboard with co-driver Mikko Markkula, the pair suffered an alternator failure due to a loose belt on day one. A five-minute time penalty resulted in a seventh place finish, somewhat lower than the duo were expecting.

However, on day two, they overtook three of their rivals by setting the best time on one stage and claiming two other top three times. This halved the gap to second place to less than two minutes.The pair then secured fourth place overall with good results on the two classic stages ‘Mina Clavero’ and ‘El Condor’, finishing just 23.6 seconds shy of a podium place.

‘I’ve never been so delighted to finish fourth. After we failed to finish the last stage on Friday because of a technical glitch and were hit with a five-minute penalty as a result, we tried to make the best of things. We simply couldn’t have done any more and I’m really pleased with our performance. After gaining fourth place even quicker than we’d hoped on Saturday, we were a bit more cautious on Sunday. Nevertheless, we managed to make good a lot of time and shorten our gap to third place. All in all, we’re very satisfied,’ said a very pleased Mikkelsen.

The next round of the championship is Rally Italy in Sardinia on 5-8 June, where Volkswagen will go 97 points ahead of second-placed Citroën.



1 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikko Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen: 4h 41m 24.8s
2 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingassia (F/F), Volkswagen: + 1m 29s

3 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën: + 5m 54.7s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN), Volkswagen: + 6m 18.3s
5 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai: + 8m 25.8s



1 Sébastien Ogier, 112

2 Jari-Matti Latvala, 88

3 Andreas Mikkelsen, 48

4 Mads Østberg, 48
5 Mikko Hirvonen, 40



1 Volkswagen Motorsport, 187

2 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT, 90

3 M-Sport, 68

4 Hyundai Motorsport, 55

5 Volkswagen Motorsport II, 52

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