Over 430 million people reached – this is Volkswagen’s current status on the brand’s official motorsport presence on Facebook since the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer made its debut in the World Rally Championship in January 2013. Since then, it has enjoyed three and a half years of success in the top flight of rallying. Ahead of the Rally Finland, 5.2 million people have ‘Liked’ the online presence. In the 2016 season alone, an accumulated total of almost five million fans have been active on this channel, either by ‘Liking’ the page, sharing content or adding their own comments.
“The highlight of the season for me!"
Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“The Rally Finland is unquestionably one of the highlights of the year. I love driving there, because rallying is everything in Finland. I am also looking forward to Finland, because the Finns manage to produce perfect route conditions. The roads are not only beautiful, but are tailor-made for rallying. The starting order has denied me any realistic chance of winning any of the gravel events this year. As such, the weather situation will also play a major role again in Finland. Let’s wait and see, and keep our fingers crossed that it is nice and damp. Admittedly, what matters most in the end is that we defend our title. We are looking good in that regard at the moment, but it would be nice to have another fair shot at winning a rally in similar conditions. Particularly as the series is blessed with some very strong drivers at the moment.”
Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“The Rally Finland is obviously the highlight of the season for me. I am really looking forward to it, even though the pressure is naturally greater than at any other rally. That can also serve as a motivation, as you obviously want to do well in front of your home crowds. The expectations of the Finnish fans are huge, particularly as I have only won once so far this year. The characteristics of the rally suit me. Fast gravel roads and big jumps – that is my kind of rally. The keys to this rally are ensuring the pace notes are correct and choosing the right line for jumps and fast sections. I will relax ahead of my home race in a very Finnish manner – in the sauna.”
Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“The way I see it, it will not be easy to repeat our victory in Poland at the Rally Finland. The rally has a completely different character. The surface is much harder and there are many more crests and jumps. On the whole, the rally is far more demanding than the one in Poland. It is particularly important to get the pace notes spot on. As such, we will focus hard during the ‘Recce’ to get the pace notes as accurate as possible. Because there are a lot of blind crests, you need to know exactly what to expect on the other side. That then gives you the confidence you need to be fast. One of the new features this year will be the ‘Ouninpohja’ stage, which we will drive in the opposite direction to recent years. That will add a bit of extra spice to the occasion.”
Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“Over 70 jumps and more than 30 seconds in the air – these are the figures from just one single stage at the Rally Finland, the infamous ‘Ouninpohja’. The drivers and co-drivers must be both accurate and intelligent to master this unique challenge. The role of the driver is more important in Finland than at pretty much every other rally. We go into the second half of the season with the assurance that all three of our Volkswagen duos has won at least one rally already this year – and are thus in top form. As well as that, however, we will also take extra motivation from the fact that the Polo R WRC is still undefeated at high-speed rallies, such as the recent race in Poland and now here in Finland.”