Monday, 05/12/2016

Ogier and Polo R WRC win Autosport Award.

A weekend full of accolades: Volkswagen driver Sébastien Ogier was presented with his World Championship trophy at the Prize Giving gala event held by the world motorsport governing body FIA in Vienna, a reward for more dominant performances in the 2016 WRC season. But it did not stop there: he was not able to attend the Autosport Awards in London but was named Rally Driver of the year in his absence. As if that were not enough: the tool of his trade, the Polo R WRC, was also honoured with the “Rally Car of the Year” title. 


Seb Ogier was able to use a video link to thank the readers of the renowned trade journal who had voted for him to receive the award: “I am very proud of this. I would like to thank all the Autosport readers. It is a shame that I cannot be there in person but I am currently busy making plans for the future.”


Ogier was up against some serious competition for the award, just as he had been in the recently completed WRC season. Other nominees were the Citroën drivers Kris Meeke and Craig Breen, the Hyundai drivers Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon, and Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel.


FX Demaison receives award


The Volkswagen Polo R WRC played a very important role in Ogier’s fourth consecutive title win, as the French driver claimed a total of six wins during the season. His team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen, who claimed second place in the World Championship, and Jari-Matti Latvala recorded a further three wins, meaning that Volkswagen triumphed in nine out of 13 rallies.


The award was presented to François-Xavier (FX) Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport, who was in charge of development for the Polo R WRC. This category also featured some strong competition: the Polo R WRC repeatedly set standards during four years of competition to become the most successful rally car of all time and was up against the Hyundai i20, the Citroën DS 3 WRC – both of which also claimed wins in 2016 -, the Ford Fiesta R2 used by M-Sport, the Skoda Fabia R5 from the WRC2 and the Peugeot 2008 DKR from the Rally Dakar. 


Demaison praised Ogier’s performance throughout the year, but also thanked the whole Volkswagen team as the success enjoyed by the Polo R WRC would not have been possible without them. 

Sunday, 04/12/2016

Trophies for Volkswagen, Ogier and Ingrassia.

Glamorous award ceremony at Hofburg Palace in Vienna: Volkswagen, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia all received trophies for their title victories in the World Rally Championship (WRC) at the prize giving ceremony organised by the FIA, the governing body for world motorsport. This means that Volkswagen has officially won its fourth consecutive manufacturers’, drivers’ and co-drivers’ trophies in the most prestigious motorsport championship for production-based cars.

In addition to WRC victors Ogier/Ingrassia, Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets accepted the prize for the Manufacturers’ Championship and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger were presented with their awards for finishing third overall in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship. Ogier and Ingrassia won six rallies in the 2016 season in their Polo R WRC, Mikkelsen/Jæger triumphed twice, and the third Volkswagen pairing Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila claimed one win.

What Seb and Julien had to day? Well, take a look:

Wednesday, 02/11/2016

Volkswagen realigns motorsport programme.

The Volkswagen brand realigns its motorsport programme. From 2017, Volkswagen will focus on new technologies and customer sport. The commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship is coming to an end after four historically successful years, in which Volkswagen won WRC titles in the driver, co-driver and manufacturer rankings in a row with the Polo R.


“The Volkswagen brand is facing enormous challenges. With the upcoming expansion in electrification of our vehicle range we must focus all our efforts on important future technologies. We far exceeded our sporting goals in the WRC, now we are realigning Volkswagen Motorsport and moving the vehicle technology of the future more starkly into focus,” said Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Technical Development, to about 200 motorsport employees in Hannover. “At the same time, Volkswagen is going to focus more on customer racing. As well as the Golf GTI TCR on the circuit track and the Beetle GRC in rallycross, we also want to offer customers top products and will develop a new Polo according to R5 regulations.”


Started with the 2016 season, the Golf GTI TCR prepared by Volkswagen Motorsport offers a production-derived customer sport vehicle for ambitious drivers and teams committed on global and national levels in the fast growing TCR touring car category. In the USA, Volkswagen of America has successfully entered two Beetle vehicles, developed by Volkswagen Motorsport in Hannover, into the Global Rallycross series and has already prepared them for the 2017 season. Scott Speed won the drivers' title in the popular US series in both 2015 and 2016, and this season the manufacturer's title also went to Volkswagen. The brand will investigate the expansion of these activities on the strength of their existing experience in rallycross. Moreover, in 2017 Volkswagen will begin development of a new rally vehicle in the R5-category based on the next generation Polo and will offer the car to customers to buy from 2018 onwards.


The new vehicle, the Polo, will reap the benefit of the entire experience from the successful WRC commitment, where the factory teams of Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia, Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila and Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger competed in 51 rallies with 42 wins and 621 best times in the special stages – no other car in the history of the World Rally Championship has a better success rate. Last weekend, Volkswagen won their fourth manufacturer's title* in a row in the UK World Rally Championship.


“I want to give our heartfelt thanks to our drivers and co-drivers for their outstanding achievements. They are not only unbelievably quick, but also extremely effective ambassadors for the Volkswagen brand. The whole team built around Motorsport Director Sven Smeets has created the basis for this success with the enormous commitment of each individual. We want to continue working with this excellent team and bring about the realignment. In the same way, we will expand the close cooperation between production development and motorsport, which has always shown benefits to both sides in recent years. There is a guarantee of employment for the Volkswagen Motorsport employees,” said Frank Welsch.


Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets explained: “Of course, we regret the departure from the WRC very much – as this was the most successful chapter in the Volkswagen brand's motorsport history. The team has done great things. At the same time, our vision is firmly ahead, because we are aware of the great challenges facing the entire company. We want our realignment to contribute to the success of the Volkswagen brand. From now on, the focus is on upcoming technologies in motorsport and on our customer sports range, where we will position ourselves more broadly and attractively.”


* Subject to ratification of the results by the FIA

Monday, 29/08/2016

Sven Smeets named Volkswagen Motorsport Director.

Volkswagen Motorsport has undergone a restructuring at management level: Sven Smeets (44) will take over as Volkswagen Motorsport Director on 01 September 2016. He succeeds Jost Capito (57), who is leaving the company to pursue a new professional challenge. Lukasz Urban (34) also takes over as Commercial Managing Director from Kirsten Zimmermann (44), who moves into a new management role at Volkswagen AG on 01 September 2016. At the same time, François-Xavier Demaison (47) as Technical Director and Dr. Donatus Wichelhaus (54) as Director of Engine Development move up into the Management Board of Volkswagen Motorsport.

As Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets is responsible for all of the brand’s motorsport activities, including the top-tier involvement in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The Belgian has been with Volkswagen Motorsport since 2012. He joined the team as Team Manager in the World Rally Championship and took on the role of Sporting Director in the middle of 2016. François-Xavier Demaison also joined Volkswagen in 2012, since when he has been responsible for the technical development of the Polo for the World Rally Championship. As Technical Director since 01 June 2016, he is now also responsible for all Volkswagen’s other car projects within the field of motorsport. Dr. Donatus Wichelhaus has been a member of the management team since 2005. He took over as Director of Engine Development on 01 June, meaning he is now responsible for the development of all Volkswagen engines for motorsport purposes. Andre Dietzel (41, Head of Communications and Marketing), Matthias Meyer (47, Manager of Workshop) and Eduard Weidl (51, Head of Customer Sports) continue in their roles within the Volkswagen Motorsport management team.

Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for “Development”: “We are delighted to be able to introduce a man with a vast wealth of management experience at the top of Volkswagen Motorsport, in the form of Sven Smeets. We are confident that we will be able to continue our success story in the World Rally Championship and the strategic development of our motorsport projects with Sven and the rest of the management team at the helm. At the same time, we would like to thank Jost Capito, under whose leadership Volkswagen has won every title on offer in the World Rally Championship for the past three years. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Tuesday, 16/08/2016

Rally China

Force majeure: Rally China cancelled following severe storm.


The World Rally Championship will have to wait to return to China: a severe storm recently made large stretches of the route impassable and, in places, destroyed it completely. This made it impossible to hold the tenth round of the season from 08 to 11 September as planned.


“We greatly regret that the intensive preparation put in by the organiser, promoter, FIA and teams, who have worked together to promote the return of the WRC to China, will go unrewarded,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “We would obviously have liked to start in China, and to compete in what is an enormously important market. We will now focus on the WRC returning to China next year.”

Friday, 12/08/2016

Dieter Depping

Monday, 25/07/2016

Stanley Cup winner at Volkswagen test in Finland.


Jumps, Stanley Cup winners and surprise visitors – the Volkswagen drivers prepared for the Rally Finland (28 – 31 July) with an eventful test weekend. Test driver Marcus Grönholm (FIN) and the regular driving duos of Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) all drove the Volkswagen Polo R WRC from the current season and the 2017 car in Jämsä, Finland.

“That was my kind of test,” said Latvala. “The conditions were ideal and we were able to prepare for the numerous jumps that await us at the Rally Finland. The large number of spectators shows once again just how much enthusiasm this country has for rally sport.” Olli Määttä was just as enthusiastic. The Finnish ice hockey pro, who won the Stanley Cup this year with the Pittsburgh Penguins, took a ride in the passenger seat of the Polo R WRC with his compatriot Latvala at the wheel. “That was a unique experience,” said Määttä. “It’s crazy how Jari-Matti has the car under control.” Another Finn provided the biggest surprise of the weekend: rally legend Ari Vatanen dropped in unannounced to pay the Volkswagen team a visit.

Thursday, 21/07/2016


Tuesday, 05/07/2016

Jägermeister to celebrate.


Ting. Ting. Ting. Silence please, the man has something to say. Anders Jæger is urged to make a speech, as this moment only comes along once in your career. The occasion: the final team dinner of the 2016 Rally Poland. A quiet restaurant in the port of Mikolajki, a witty end to a surprisingly successful round of the World Rally Championship – thanks to these words. 


He has been made to feel like a member of the family from the word go, and treated as though he had always been a part of the team. So many team members work so hard to allow him and his driver Andreas Mikkelsen to do their job perfectly – something he is incredibly grateful for. 


And then there is the man in the driver’s seat, Andreas Mikkelsen: friend for over 15 years, somebody Jæger has actually shared a flat with, and with whom he recently ran 82 kilometres uphill and downhill at the Trail Run on the Zugspitze … – it is at this point that that very Andreas Mikkelsen seizes the moment and interrupts the speech of his right-hand man in the Polo R WRC. “Did you know,” he asks the team, “we have always been competitive, Anders and I. One of us always had to be better than the other at sport. We always wanted to prove ourselves against each other.” After a brief pause, he has a message for Anders Jæger. “There is, however, one thing I will probably always have the upper hand in. I have one more win to my name than you.”


And so it is: Andreas Mikkelsen – victory in Spain in 2015 and the recent win in Poland in 2016. Anders Jæger? Victory in Poland in 2016. 2:1 to Andreas. The response comes immediately: “Well, at least you are better at one thing then,” laughs Anders Jæger before buying a round to celebrate his maiden win.


Jägermeister for everyone. With that name, it simply had to be.

Monday, 27/06/2016

Goodwood – Festival of Speed

Monday, 20/06/2016

Salomon Zugspitz Ultratrail

Wednesday, 15/06/2016

Monday, 06/06/2016

Wednesday, 01/06/2016

Friday, 29/04/2016

“We never get to put our feet up.”


Always well organised, and always with a joke on his lips. It is hard to imagine Volkswagen Motorsport without Lutz Mayer, who is responsible for logistics in the World Rally Championship. He ensures that the Polo R WRCs, all the spare parts and the entire team hospitality arrive safely and above all punctually at the next venue on the WRC calendar.

Trucks are used for the rallies within Europe, whilst all the equipment is shipped to overseas rallies well ahead of time by sea or, closer to the date, air freight. “Overseas, we start assembling things on the Saturday before the rally,” says Lutz. “You never know what may have happened to the contents whilst in transport. We are always a bit nervous about that. If we start early enough, we still have a bit of leeway. Everything is usually up and standing by the Tuesday.”

Eight containers are in transit all year round for the team from Hannover. Five AMP containers contain components, of which only a limited amount will actually be used at a rally. “These components are used at the overseas rallies and those in Europe,” says Lutz. The remaining three rallies are dealt with using AMF containers, which are loaded with equipment for all the overseas rallies and sent on their way by boat before the start of the season.

Well prepared for newcomer China.

In September 2016, the WRC teams will face a new challenge, in the form of the Rally China. In contrast to the other overseas rallies, the event in the Middle Kingdom will take place on asphalt. A logistical challenge that Lutz and his crew of six are confident they can overcome.

“We are sending an additional container to China, with rims for the asphalt set-up,” says Lutz. “The container with the spare parts from Argentina is sent back to Germany by air freight, and is then loaded with the parts for the asphalt set-up in China.”

Stressful final spurt in the WRC, followed by a short winter break.

Things get really stressful when the World Rally Championship enters the finishing straight. October features three rallies in four weeks – France, Spain and Great Britain. This is enough to push even the supremely-organised logistics experts at Volkswagen to the limit. “We have planned everything thoroughly, but October is still going to be tough. We will hardly have time to catch a breath. We must practically get the material from one rally to the next.”

Strict quarantine regulations, particularly in Australia, mean extra work for the logistics department. Lutz: “The material must be absolutely squeaky clean. You practically have to pull every fly out of the car’s radiator. If you have masking tape on the outside of the container, it must be taped over again with extra tape, because a fly could lay its eggs there. Countries put these measures in place to protect themselves from epidemics.”

Even after the season, Meyer and Co. barely have time for a breather. There are less than eight weeks between the Rally Australia and the season-opener in Monte Carlo. This does not make for a peaceful Christmas break. “We use the breaks to sort out any open issues,” says Lutz, who has been working for Volkswagen Motorsport for 17 years. “For example, we recently used the break before the Rally Argentina to get new tractor units. We had to register them and unregister the old ones. There is always something to do. We never get to put our feet up.”

Tuesday, 22/03/2016

Thursday, 18/02/2016

Tuesday, 26/01/2016

New addition to the Ogier household: “My biggest wish come true”.

“#2become1” – it was with this hashtag that World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier announced his happy news on Facebook. He is going to be a dad! His wife Andrea Kaiser, who he married in the summer of 2014, is five months pregnant.

As such, Seb had two reasons to celebrate at the opening round of the WRC season in Monte Carlo. Things are also looking bright on a professional front for the flying Frenchman. Ogier won the “Monte” for the third time in a row and leads the World Championship again with 28 points.

In Formula One, the rumour persists that a driver becomes one tenth of a second slower per baby. If this is the case, Seb Ogier can afford a few more children: he ended the “Monte” with a lead of almost two minutes over his closest rival Andreas Mikkelsen.

Thursday, 14/01/2016

New Challenge: Capito is to leave Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito is to leave the company by mutual agreement during the course of this year to take on a new professional challenge. The 57-year-old took over as Motorsport Director at Volkswagen in May 2012 and led the works team to three FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Jost Capito will continue to perform the duties of Motorsport Director until such time as his successor at Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH has been appointed. The engineering graduate began working for the Volkswagen Group in 1989, joining Porsche’s racing department. Following an executive post with the Sauber Formula 1 team (from 1996), Capito moved to Ford in 2001, where among other things he held responsibility for motorsport activities and the performance vehicle business.

Wednesday, 13/01/2016

Over to You, Anders Jæger.

From rally fan to rally co-driver in just three years – and for one of the top teams. That is the equivalent of going from 0 to 60 in record time, and this dream has become reality for Anders Jæger. In 2016 he will take his place as the co-driver for Andreas Mikkelsen in the Volkswagen Polo R WRC, replacing Ola Fløene, who has moved on to become co-driver for Mads Østberg.


Ola will not be an easy act to follow, as he was alongside Mikkelsen for the driver’s first WRC victory in 2015. 26-year-old Anders – one month younger than Andreas – has skipped a competition category. In 2015, he competed in the Junior WRC and WRC3 championships, in which he navigated compatriot Ole Christian Veiby around the world championship routes. The reward at the end of the year was second place in the overall JWRC rankings. 


The promotion to the WRC came a little earlier than expected, but had been planned for some time. “The original plan was for me to move up to WRC in 2017, as Andreas’ co-driver,” says Anders. “But Ola’s switch gave me the chance to do so earlier. Andreas and I had already decided to work as a team, so this is a logical step, even if it has come surprisingly quickly.”


Friends in the Cockpit.


Anders and Andreas were introduced to one another by mutual acquaintances in Oslo, nearly nine years ago. They quickly formed a close friendship, to the extent that they have holidayed together many times with this group of friends. It was also Andreas who introduced Anders to rallying. “I started to take an interest in this sport three years ago, as Andreas was competing in his first season for Volkswagen,” says Anders. “In 2014, I became co-driver for Bernt Kollevold and then for Ole Christian Veiby in the Norwegian championship. I learned a lot there and have continued to develop my skills.”


In December, Anders was involved in his first tests with Andreas and the Polo R WRC. The results reflected the chemistry between the two. “Andreas and I are very similar,” says Anders. “The way we think is similar, as is the way we deal with things. This is why we believe that we will form a very strong team in the future.”


No Fear of Fast Cars.


The promotion from the Junior WRC to the pinnacle of the WRC will require some adjustment for Anders. However, the youngster from Oslo does not feel pressured by respect or fear, probably because he has gathered plenty of rally experience in the Junior WRC. 


“The step up to the WRC seems huge on paper,” says Anders. “But everything went great during the winter tests with Andreas.” The biggest difference? Anders: “You have to read the notes a lot quicker in the WRC, as everything happens at a faster pace.”


The First Racing Driver in the Family.


Anders’ family is interested in his career but it is really just his father who is an avid rally fan. “He thinks what I am doing is fantastic,” says Anders, the first member of his family to be actively involved in motorsport. “My mother is always worrying about me. She follows my results but she just can’t watch any on-board footage.” 


Harmony in the cockpit and no fear of new challenges. These prerequisites are in place and nothing should stand in the way of a successful 2016. However, Anders is reluctant to make too many predictions: “It would be nice to carry on where Andreas and Ola left off. But maybe you should ask me again after Rally Monte Carlo. Let’s see how things go for us there.”

Tuesday, 22.12.2015

Volkswagen completes tests ahead of opening round of the WRC at the Monte.

Prepared as in the previous two years: Volkswagen has been hard at work preparing for its outing at the Rally Monte Carlo with the world championship-winning Polo R WRC and its three driver/co-driver pairings. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) completed roughly 1000 test kilometres in total over the course of the six-day test on the outskirts of Gap, in the French Maritime Alps. The tests focussed on set-up work and tyre tests with the Polo R WRC, which boasts the highest win ratio in the history of the World Rally Championship. The World Rally Car from Wolfsburg kicks off its fourth WRC season with the Rally Monte Carlo from 21 to 24 January. Since 2013, Volkswagen has won all nine possible World Championship titles, and has emerged triumphant at 34 of the 39 rallies. In 2014 and 2015, the three Volkswagen duos also monopolised the top three positions in the World Championship standings.

“The Rally Monte Carlo is truly legendary, for many different reasons,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “The ever-changing weather conditions, which fluctuate between ice, snow, rain and dry conditions, make the rally precisely what Monaco is renowned for: a gamble. Furthermore, it is the first rally on the WRC calendar, meaning all the drivers, co-drivers and manufacturers start with zero points. Everyone wants to make the best possible start to the new season and take as much momentum as possible into the coming rallies. As such, tests are of great importance, in order to prepare for the tough tasks ahead. For the third time in a row, we go into the season as the team to beat, and we will be up against stronger opponents than before: Hyundai has a new car, while M-Sport-Ford has strengthened its squad of drivers and co-drivers. As such, we go into the season with heightened senses – and, thanks to the tests, with sufficient experience for the Monte.”

Taste of things to come at the ever-unpredictable “Monte” – Tests on the outskirts of Gap

Ice and snow on the one hand, freezing rain, black ice or even shiny, dry asphalt on the other – conditions at the Rally Monte Carlo are always anything but predictable. Despite a lack of snow, the tests on and around the Col de Perty near the town of Laborel were worth their weight in gold, as the team looked to adapt to at least a few of the conditions to be expected in January. The three driver/co-driver duos trialled set-up variants for the Polo R WRC and tested various combinations of the Michelin tyres to be used next year. The tests took place about 70 kilometres outside Gap, where the Rally Monte Carlo will be held from 21 to 24 January.

Three pairs of test days for Ogier, Latvala, Mikkelsen and their co-drivers

Two test days for Sébastien Ogier, two for Jari-Matti Latvala and two for Andreas Mikkelsen – the men who finished first, second and third in the 2014 and 2015 world championships. And at their side, their co-drivers for the 2016 season: Julien Ingrassia, who forms his usual partnership with Sébastien Ogier, Miikka Anttila as Jari-Matti Latvala’s trusty navigator, and Anders Jæger, who will make his competitive debut in the Polo R WRC alongside Andreas Mikkelsen at the Monte. This was Jæger’s second outing, following the tests for the Rally Sweden at the end of November.

Tuesday, 08.12.2015

New co-driver: Andreas Mikkelsen in Polo R WRC with Anders Jæger.


Andreas Mikkelsen will compete in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a new co-driver: he will henceforth be given his instructions by the 26-year-old Norwegian Anders Jæger, who is advancing from the Junior WRC straight to the top WRC category. Jæger therefore follows in the footsteps of fellow Norwegian Ola Fløene, who is leaving the Volkswagen team at his own request with a great deal of success under his belt. Mikkelsen achieved 13 of his 14 podium finishes in the World Rally Championship with Fløene at his side – including his highly acclaimed first rally win at Rally Spain in 2015.

Monday, 07.12.2015

2015 FIA gala

Three WRC trophies for Volkswagen.

Glamour and glory for the three-time world champions: Volkswagen, Sébastien Ogier (F) and Julien Ingrassia (F) received trophies for their title wins in the World Rally Championship (WRC) at the grand award ceremony hosted by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) at the world-famous Lido on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The trophies in the manufacturers’, drivers’ and co-drivers’ categories in the most prestigious production-based automobile world championship have therefore officially gone to Volkswagen for the third consecutive year. The Polo R WRC likewise made a grand appearance in front of the event’s 2,000 guests. The movers and shakers of the world of motorsport all marvelled at the 318 hp World Rally Car which has won 34 of the 39 rallies it has tackled to date, making it the most successful model in the history of the WRC. Awards were presented not only to the world champions Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), but also to their Volkswagen teammates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N), who came second and third respectively overall in the 2015 WRC.

“The grand FIA gala is always the icing on the cake at the end of a long and arduous year,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “No other motorsport world championship has such a long season as the WRC, which runs from January to November. And nowhere are the technical and sporting challenges greater than in the WRC, with rallies held on gravel, asphalt, and ice and snow. It’s a great relief and a fantastically proud feeling to accept the trophies for the manufacturers’ championship and for the top three positions in the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships too. We can look back on our most successful season to date in the World Rally Championship, but are also already in the midst of preparing for the next season, which starts six weeks after the FIA gala with the first special stage of Rally Monte Carlo.”

Because it’s so good: Volkswagen’s impressive track record in the World Rally Championship

13 rallies and 26 podium finishes, twelve of which were the top spot – the 2015 season goes down in history as the most successful season to date for Volkswagen in the World Rally Championship. Each of the three driver/co-driver pairs won at least one rally and clinched a podium position at least seven times. 159 out of 231 possible stage fastest times were also scored by Volkswagen drivers, as were twelve of the possible 13 power stage wins. The three Polo R WRC cars notched up a total distance of 11,832.08 kilometres at high speed in 2015. And Volkswagen has scored an unparalleled set of top results since it joined the World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC: 34 out of a possible 39 rally wins, the longest run of consecutive wins by far (twelve), and the two most successful seasons for a manufacturer, with twelve rally wins in both 2014 and 2015. Volkswagen drivers have stood on the podium 67 times, and one of the Volkswagen duos has been fastest in 504 of the 717 special stages held since Rally Monte Carlo in 2013 and has been among the top three on 1,192 occasions. A Volkswagen duo came first in 31 of the 38 power stages, in which the top three duos score bonus points in the drivers’ and co-drivers’ categories, and bonus points went to Wolfsburg factory-backed drivers and co-drivers 69 times, taking the total to exactly 150 bonus points – which is equivalent to six rally wins.

2015 Autosport awards

Awards for the Volkswagen Polo R WRC and Sébastien Ogier.

Rally Car and Rally Driver of the Year – the Volkswagen Polo R WRC and Sébastien Ogier (F) were recognised in their respective categories at this year’s Autosport Awards. At the presentation ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, the prize went to the 318-hp World Rally Car from Wolfsburg for the second time after 2014. The trophies were presented to Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito and François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Project Manager WRC. Since entering the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with the Polo R WRC, Volkswagen has achieved a number of remarkable records: 34 of 39 possible race wins, by far the longest winning run of twelve back-to-back victories, and the two most successful seasons ever by a manufacturer, with twelve triumphs in both 2014 and 2015. Three-time world champion Ogier, who won the Drivers’ Championship in the WRC in 2013, 2014 and 2015, received his third award from the motorsport magazine. The Frenchman won eight rallies and amassed 263 points last season. At the end of the 13 rallies that made up the 2015 season, Ogier triumphed with a lead of 80 points over team-mate and runner-up Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN).

Friday, 04.12.2015