27 - August - 2013
It was the home rally of all races where Volkswagen would fall short of their own high expectations for the first time since joining the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in January 2013. This was the first time Volkswagen have missed out on a podium place in a season which has seen the team pick up six rally wins in eight rallies. And all this despite World Championship leaders in the Drivers’ and Co-drivers’ categories Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) and Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) both having their Polo R WRCs out in front at different stages of the rally, which was watched by a crowd of 200,000. However, Volkswagen can still boast some very impressive numbers after the Rally Germany: eight of the fifteen stages held were won by the Wolfsburg team’s Polo R WRC at this purely asphalt-based rally. Moreover, at least one Volkswagen driver finished every stage in the top three. Dani Sordo’s win at the Rally Germany means Citroën remain undefeated on asphalt for almost ten years. Latvala/Anttila finished the ninth race of the season in seventh, whilst Ogier/Ingrassia were 16th. “The Rally Germany was my first visit in my new function,” said Dr Heinz-Jakob Neußer, who is head of technical development at Volkswagen and is responsible for the Motorsport programme. “I am very impressed with the professional nature of the brand’s profile and the skill shown by the engineers and mechanics. Due to adverse weather conditions, we had to contend with various set-backs. The mechanics have put in an excellent performance to repair the cars for the final Power Stage, from which we were able to collect four additional points. We were also able to win eight of the fifteen stages, demonstrating how competitive our Polo R WRC is and the amount of effort our drivers put in. We are looking forward to the upcoming rallies and will be doing everything we can to bring World Championship titles to Wolfsburg.” In the team’s début season, Volkswagen continue to lead all three categories at the WRC’s highest level after nine of the thirteen World Championship races. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia continue to hold a comfortable advantage in the Drivers’ and Co-drivers’ standings; both drivers have a second chance to wrap up the title at the upcoming World Championship race in Australia, which will be taking place from 12 to 15 September. Ahead of this race, their lead over Ford’s Thierry Neuville stands at 75 points. If Ogier/Ingrassia manage to extend their lead to 84 points or more after the Rally Australia, they can no longer be caught. Volkswagen also continue to lead the way in the Constructors’ Championship with an advantage of 26 points.