When the first World Rally Car sets out on the opening stage of the Rally Monte Carlo, from Moulinon to Antraigues, at 09:00 on Wednesday 16 January, it will mark the start of something rather special: Volkswagen’s first season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). 20,000 kilometres of testing, 1,700 parts designed completely from scratch, 17 months of preparations – all for this one moment, thedawn of a new age. The appearance of the Polo R WRC in the FIA World Rally Championship heralds a new era in motorsport for Volkswagen – and where better to makeyour debut than the legendary Rally Monte Carlo. In Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), the works team from Wolfsburg lines up at the WRC season-opener with two young crews who nevertheless already possess a wealth of experience. From 15 to 20 January, Volkswagen will face strong opponents and a new technological challenge. The WRC is regarded as the biggest all-round test in international motorsport and, alongside Formula One, it is the most iconic of the FIA’sworldchampionships.