Rally Great Britain.

12 – 15 November 2015.

 

Red-hot coverage, exclusive background reports, interviews, the latest photos – simply everything on the 2015 Rally Great Britain. You are always up to date here.

Timetable

 

Note: All times in the timetable are local, UTC (as of: 09.08.2015).

 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

08:00   Shakedown (Clocaenog), 180 min. 03.32 km
18:30   Start (Llandudno)  

Friday, 13 November 2015

09:27 SS 01 Hafren 1 32.14 km
10:10 SS 02 Sweet Lamb 1 03.33 km
10:27 SS 03 Myherin 1 30.23 km
13:29 SS 04 Hafren 2 32.14 km
14:12 SS 05 Sweet Lamb 2 03.33 km
14:29 SS 06 Myherin 2 30.23 km

Saturday, 14 November 2015

07:29 SS 07 Gartheiniog 1 11.34 km
07:56 SS 08 Dyfi 1 25.86 km
09:38 SS 09 Gartheiniog 2 11.34 km
10:05 SS 10 Dyfi 2 25.86 km
11:53 SS 11 Dyfnant 1 19.02 km
12:51 SS 12 Aberhirnant 1 13.91 km
14:31 SS 13 Chirk Castle 02.06 km
18:25 SS 14 Dyfnant 2 19.02 km
19:23 SS 15 Aberhirnant 2 13.91 km

Sunday, 25 October 2015

08:26 SS 16 Brenig 1 10.64 km
08:52 SS 17 Alwen 10.41 km
10:20 SS 18 Great Orme 04.74 km
12:08 SS 19P Brenig 2 10.64 km
14:15   Podium ceremony (Deeside)  

Sunday, 15.11.2015


Images Day 3 (10)


Final report

Ogier wins in Wales.

 

"After the events this weekend, my win pales into insignificance; what happened in Paris is just too horrific. My thoughts are with the relatives of the victims." Sébastien Ogier understandably didn't feel like celebrating at the finish line of the Rally Great Britain in light of the terror attacks in his home country. The teams on the podium held the French flag as they participated in a minute's silence. The weather made the image even sadder than it already was. #PrayForParis - the motto of the whole weekend in Wales.

 

It was Ogier's eighth win of the season at the 13th rally of the year. It was the 12th win for Volkswagen. No other manufacturer has ever celebrated as much success as the team from Wolfsburg. The Polo R WRC also exceeded the record of 500 stage wins in Wales on Saturday. Volkswagen went one (or four) better on Sunday and now has 504 wins with the Polo. 15 out of a possible 19 stage wins in Wales went to Volkswagen. And on a weekend that was characterised by heavy rainfall, resulting in sodden and slippery gravel tracks, which proved to be the downfall of many top drivers.

 

Jari-Matti Latvala got the win on the closing Power Stage. The first two days didn't go according to plan for the Finn in action for Volkswagen. He had an accident after just two special stages on Friday and ended up coming off the track and landing in the mud in his Polo. Then the transmission of his Polo went on strike on Saturday, which forced him to retire for the day yet again. Then he restarted on Sunday and was unbeatable. He didn't want to miss out on the three bonus points for the Power Stage. The (unofficial) title of runners-up in the World Championship also goes to the Finn.

 

Andreas Mikkelsen ended the rally and the season in third place overall. Second place on the Power Stage saw him pick up two additional championship points. "I accelerated a little bit harder at the end, it was worth it for two bonus points!" said Mikkelsen and summed up: "It was a great season for us!"


Final classification after 19 stages

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time / Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 3h 03m 02.0s  
2 K. Meeke / P. Nagle +26.0s  
3 A. Mikkelsen / O. Fløene +36.2s  
4 D. Sordo / M. Martí +2m 51.3s  
5 H. Paddon / J. Kennard +3m 00.5s  
6 E. Evans / D. Barritt +3m 09.1s  
7 M. Østberg / J. Andersson +4m 28.4s  
8 S. Lefebvre / S. Prévot +5m 38.4s  
9 R. Kubica / M. Szczepaniak +6m 22.7s  
10 L. Bertelli / L. Granai +8m 05.0s  

Quotes from the Volkswagen team

“The end of what has been a virtually perfect season for us"

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1

“That was a difficult rally for Julien and me. We would like to dedicate today’s victory at the Rally Wales GB to the victims of the horrific terror attacks in Paris. For us personally, this is also a symbolic gesture that we must not give up or give in to a small minority. I think this sentiment has been expressed by the entire WRC family. From a sporting point of view, this result is the icing on the cake at the end of what has been a virtually perfect season for us. This would not have been possible without the magnificent team spirit and fantastic job done by everyone in the Volkswagen team – Julien and I are particularly grateful to them! It will be very, very difficult to improve on a run of success like this next year. The opposition will not relax over the winter: our rivals are sure to push hard to close the gap. We did not have any problems on the final day of the Rally Wales. Unlike in Spain, I decided not to take any risks on the Power Stage this time. Given the tricky conditions today, this was the right strategy.”

 

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“Overall it wasn't an easy weekend. The attacks in Paris overshadowed sporting events. Today went as I had hoped it would from the beginning. I had a good rhythm and it was a lot of fun. On top of that, I won the Power Stage, which I haven't managed to do all that often this year. However, that made it all the more frustrating that my weekend was over before it really got going. The Rally Great Britain was kind of a reflection of my 2015 season. But I'll take the positives; I came second in the championship for the second time in a row, and got some really good results in the second half of the season. That's a good starting point for next year. Now I will take some time off before starting to prepare intensively for the 2016 season.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9

“Naturally, finishing on the podium again is a wonderful way to end a fantastic season, which I will always remember in light of my first win at the Rally Spain. We are happy with how we achieved this top-3 result here in Great Britain. I only took one spare tyre with me on Saturday morning to put pressure on the front-runners, but suffered tyre damage and a slow puncture on the second stage. After that we made the best of the situation. I really enjoyed the driving, even though the conditions were extremely difficult. Hats off to the fans and the marshals who braved the stormy weather out on the stages. I hope we put on a good show for them.”

 

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“Although we are in no mood for celebration today, the rally in Wales was the icing on the cake at the end of a magnificent season. With twelve victories, three different winning Volkswagen duos, and more podium finishes than ever before, this has been our most successful year ever. We are proud to have achieved that with the second generation of Polo R WRC. Not only have the drivers and co-drivers done an outstanding job this season, but also the engineers and mechanics, who have sent what is in many ways a new World Rally Car to the start line. We have also set new standards with the communication and marketing of our success in the World Rally Championship. We have once again improved in every department, but still see room for improvement everywhere. We have not waited until today to start preparing for the coming season in 2016. We will line up at the start of the opening stage of the ‘Monte’ in just 70 days from now. When we do, we will again start with zero points – however, we will have the confidence that comes with winning nine titles in three years.”


Numbers of the season

12 and 26

 

26 podiums from 13 rallies, including twelve wins – the 2015 season will go down in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) history books as Volkswagen’s most successful to date.


Day 3 in Great Britain.


Saturday, 14.11.2015


Rally Great Britain day 2. The video.


Images Day 2 (14)


Day Report

Day and night: Flawless Ogier extends lead.

 

Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia only feared for their lead briefly on day two of the Rally Great Britain. The Volkswagen duo lost about 30 seconds on the eleventh special stage when they stopped to check that Thierry Neuville was okay after his accident. When the Hyundai driver had given the all clear, they continued, but the French duo had lost the lead at this point.

But it wasn't long before it was clear that the Volkswagen driver would be credited the 30 seconds that he lost making this manoeuvre. This saw Seb regain his lead and his advantage, and he went on to extend them bit by bit – despite the difficult conditions on the rain-soaked track. "The track is really difficult to drive; the water is really deep in places. But it's the same for all the drivers," said Ogier.

And it didn't get any easier in the evening: The rain didn't let up, and on top of that, the final two special stages were held in the dark. But even so the Volkswagen drivers remained focussed. Both "Dyfnant 2" (Andreas Mikkelsen) and "Aberhirnant 2" (Ogier) went to Wolfsburg, which saw the Polo R WRC reach another milestone. Out of a possible 713 best times, an impressive 500 stage best times have gone to the manufacturer from Lower Saxony.

 

This sees Ogier head into the final event day of the 2015 season with a reassuring lead of 35.7 seconds over his fiercest rival, Kris Meeke (Citroën). The second Volkswagen duo of Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) is also lying in wait going into the final day. After 15 out of a total 19 special stages, they are in third place, and trail Meeke by 24.7 seconds.

 However, things didn't go so well for the third duo. Just like on Friday, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) were plagued by bad luck on day two of the rally in Wales. Once again the day came to a premature end for the Finns after just a few kilometres. A problem with the transmission forced the winners of three rallies this season to retire their Polo R WRC after the second special stage. The duo from Finland will restart under Rally 2 regulations again tomorrow.


Classification after 15 of 19 stages

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time / Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 2h 40m 25.2s  
2 K. Meeke / P. Nagle +35.7s  
3 A. Mikkelsen / O. Fløene +1m 00.4s  
4 O. Tänak / R. Mõlder +2m 41.1s  
5 D. Sordo / M. Martí +2m 55.8s  
6 H. Paddon / J. Kennard +3m 13.9s  
7 E. Evans / D. Barritt +3m 18.3s  
8 M. Østberg / J. Andersson +4m 21.9s  
9 S. Lefebvre / S. Prévot +5m 32.6s  
10 R. Kubica / M. Szczepaniak +6m 31.8s  

Quotes from the Volkswagen team

"A particularly tough and eventful one”

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“Today is a very sad day. Our thoughts are with the victims of the horrific attacks in Paris. Moments like this make you all too aware of just how insignificant what you are doing actually is. Despite this, Julien and I decided this morning that we would continue with the rally. We feel this is the right decision, rather than quitting – which would be giving in to the perpetrators. It was obviously very difficult to concentrate on driving today. Furthermore, the conditions were not easy out there. It was very slippery, with an awful lot of standing water at certain points on the route. I had to stop on stage eleven, as Thierry Neuville was blocking the road after his crash. However, we were credited with the 30 seconds we lost in the process.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“That was a bit of a repeat of yesterday’s story, only this time it was not my fault. We were going well again, but this time we suffered a damaged power train after about ten kilometres of stage eight. That resulted in us losing a minute on that stage alone, and we had to retire shortly after. There was no point in continuing like that. I would like to thank my mechanics again for the job they have done on my Polo R WRC. Without them, I would not have been able to race at all today. The focus is now on tomorrow’s Power Stage.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
"That was not only a long day, but also a particularly tough and eventful one. However, it was also a day that we could be happy with in the end. We decided to take just one spare tyre with us in the morning. However, we then felt a big impact on a straight section in the second stage of the morning. We didn’t see it coming, or what it was – a hole or a stone. That caused us to have a flat tyre and a slow puncture. On top of that, we also had a damaged damper. All in all, that cost us a few seconds. After the midday service, we returned for the two night stages. The ever-changing grip levels meant they were far from easy during the daytime, let alone at night! We are happy to have made it through this marathon day and still to be on course for a top-three finish. To climb onto the podium tomorrow would be a fantastic way to end the season.”

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“The second, very long day of the Rally Great Britain not only pushed the drivers and co-drivers to their limits, but also really put the entire team through its paces. Everyone in the team did an outstanding job today. This was rewarded with first place for Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, as well as third place for Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene. However, we still have to convert these good positions into a meaningful result tomorrow. I am confident the team will do just that – if we continue to work so conscientiously.”


Number of the day

500

The two Volkswagen duos won a further six stages, including the ninth stage of the day, which took the 318-hp World Rally Car from Wolfsburg’s tally to exactly 500 stage wins – achieved within 713 special stages of its debut at the Rally Monte Carlo in 2013.


Midday Report

Ogier defies the mud.

 

Sébastien Ogier remains the man to beat at the Rally Great Britain. The Volkswagen driver holds a comfortable lead over his closest rival Kris Meeke (Citroën) after 13 of the 19 special stages. Fellow Volkswagen man Andreas Mikkelsen is currently third, 57.1 seconds off the lead. Ogier more than doubled his overnight lead on Saturday morning, although the conditions were by no means easier than on the opening day. Heavy rainfall on already wet ground made the gravel tracks even softer than they already were.

 

The result: ruts deepened with every passing WRC car, then filled with even more water. Risk of aquaplaning! Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville discovered painfully just how serious the consequences could be. He strayed from the racing line momentarily on the eleventh special stage ‘Dyfnant 1’, collided with a pile of sawn-down tree trunks and rolled his car. Ogier had followed him out onto the route, and stopped to check that Neuville was okay. Fortunately he was. Ogier lost a lot of time by stopping, and actually surrendered the overall lead to Meeke as a result. However, the organisers wasted little time in adjusting Seb’s time by 30 seconds, giving him a healthy 25.6-second lead going into the afternoon break.

 

Jari-Matti Latvala returned to action following yesterday’s crash. However, the Finn was forced to retire on the second stage of the day due to a transmission problem on his Polo R WRC. He will re-join the race again under Rally 2 regulations on Sunday. Latvala, who is a self-confessed fan of Wales, could still pick up bonus points on the closing Power Stage.

 

Standings after SS 13:

 

1. Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #1) 2:21.24,2 hrs.

2. Kris Meeke (Citroën) + 30.5 sec.

3. Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) + 57.1 sec.

4. Ott Tänak (Ford) + 2:24.6 min.

5. Dani Sordo (Hyundai) + 2:34.4 min. 


Day 2 in Great Britain.


Friday, 13.11.2015


Rally Great Britain day 1. The video.


Images Day 1 (15)


Day Report

Ogier vs. Meeke – Mikkelsen in third place.

France versus Northern Ireland, Sébastien Ogier against Kris Meeke – that is the current duel at the Rally Great Britain in Wales. Ogier currently leads the field in the Volkswagen Polo R WRC. However, it's no easy ride, even though he is at the top with a lead of 13.5 seconds as it stands. His rival Kris Meeke in the Citroën is highly motivated. No wonder: It is his home event and speedy Kris wants to get another strong result to finish off the season.

"I'm happy that I didn't have any problems today," said Ogier after the sixth and final special stage of the day, Myherin 2. "Meeke is very fast and winning here will by no means be a walk in the park. I will have to battle down to the wire." On Friday, Ogier's team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala learned the hard way just how quickly things can come to an end in Wales. He came off the track in his Polo on the second stage, the 3.33-kilometre short but extremely difficult Sweet Lamb, and was forced to end the day early. There was some consolation: His Polo wasn't too badly damaged. "JML" will go on the attack again on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Andreas Mikkelsen is on course to finish on the podium. The Spain winner may be 31.4 seconds off the top, but Andreas was pleased with the day as a whole. "I've found my rhythm now and it's so much fun driving the Polo R WRC here. Overall I'm really happy," said Andreas.

After a comparatively short first day with six special stages, Saturday has a real marathon in store for the WRC aces. Nine stages will be driven, including two passes of the Dyfnant stage, an ultra-fast forest stage with sharp corners and numerous bends. The stages on day two are demanding in one way or another. And the unpredictable weather in Wales could present an additional challenge.


Quotes from the Volkswagen team

“A good battle over the next few days”


Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
There aren't many rallies on the calendar where you want to be the first on the route, but it's usually an advantage in Wales. As such, things went really well for Julien and me. On the whole, I am very pleased with the day. It wasn't easy to judge the grip level in the morning because it was extremely slippery in places. Then I changed the set-up of the dampers slightly and after that the handling improved. I had a great feeling in the Polo, particularly on the third stage. I don't have a big lead over Kris Meeke, he is really fast. It promises to be a good battle over the next few days. I'm looking forward to it.

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
Naturally that wasn't what we had in mind at all. No sooner had we started the rally than it was over for us. We came off the road shortly after the start of the second special stage and landed in a ditch. Unfortunately, it was so deep that there was no way we could carry on. It's particularly frustrating since we had found a good set-up and the pace was right. We were definitely competitive and would have been able to push for the win. But that's the kind of thing that happens in our sport. We will try to restart under Rally 2 regulations. Naturally it is frustrating for today, but things will look different in the morning.

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
I'm very happy with our start to the Rally Great Britain. Without any test drives or the experience from the Shakedown, which I was forced to skip yesterday, the key was to quickly find a rhythm in these extremely tricky conditions. We did a good job, even if we were a bit too cautious here and there and lost time. I just don't have as much experience on today's stages as on those on Saturday and Sunday. That's why I am looking forward to the next two days and am excited to see what we can achieve. In any case, third place isn't a bad start.

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
The Rally Great Britain and its very demanding conditions are far from easy to master. When the weather is as unsettled as it was today, finding the right compromise between caution and attack is a mammoth task, but one that Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia mastered brilliantly. Andreas Mikkelsen and OIa Fløene also produced a solid display. We also saw just how quickly mistakes can be punished on this muddy and slippery surface, as in the case of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, who slid out early on in the day.


Classification after 6 of 19 stages

Position Driver / Co-driver Total Time / Diff 1st  
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 1h 16m 03.5s  
2 K. Meeke / P. Nagle +13.5 s  
3 A. Mikkelsen / O. Fløene +31.4 s  
4 M. Østberg / J. Andersson +43.0 s  
5 D. Sordo / M. Martí +1m 18.7 s  
6 O. Tänak / R. Mõlder +1m 34.9 s  
7 H. Paddon / J. Kennard +2m 03.5 s  
8 E. Evans / D. Barritt +2m 21.6 s  
9 L. Bertelli / L. Granai +3m 21.5 s  
10 S. Lefebvre / S. Prévot +3m 25.4 s  

Number of the day

400

Ogier/Ingrassia won five of the day’s six special stages, racking up stage wins number 400 and 401 of their career in the process, as they opened a lead of 13.5 seconds.


Midday report

Caution slippery!

 

Rally drivers are used to drifting around corners while compensating wildly and having to catch the rear of their car. But the Rally Great Britain presents tremendous challenges for even the WRC pros each year. At this time of year, heavy rainfall is par for the course. And what do you get when you mix gravel and water? That's right: slippery sludge. And that can quickly lead to a WRC car coming off the track.

 

Unfortunately, Jari-Matti Latvala experienced this for himself on the second special stage. After about 600 metres on the innocent sounding "Sweet Lamb" stage, just 3.33 kilometres in length, it was game over for the Volkswagen driver. He was in the ditch once again. But the "Flying Finn" will be back in action tomorrow. After the first special stage, Jari-Matti trailed Ogier by just 0.8 seconds. "I feel sorry for Jari, I was really looking forward to the duel with him," said Ogier after he learned of Latvala's misfortune. But Ogier knows: "Other drivers are also very fast here, so we can't take it easy."

 

However, the competition didn't deliver a flawless performance either. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), Robert Kubica (Ford) and Kevin Abbring (Hyundai) were three renowned drivers to come off the track and drop down the field or retire for the day. Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen drove cautiously on the first three special stages, which should pay off ultimately. The Norwegian is currently third in the overall standings. "It wasn't very easy to get used to the slippery track, but as the morning went on, I found it easier to get into my rhythm," said Andreas. 

 

The three stages will be driven again this afternoon. If the gravel tracks in Wales dry out by then, the drivers will be faced with completely different conditions. Which is typical for Rally Great Britain.

 

Result after SS 3:

 

1. Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #1) 37:36.3 min.

2. Kris Meeke (Citroën) + 12.9 sec.

3. Andreas Mikkelsen (Polo R WRC #9) + 16.8 sec.

4. Mads Østberg (Citroën) + 22.8 sec.

5. Elfyn Evans (Ford) + 40.3 sec.


Day 1 in Great Britain.


Thursday, 12.11.2015


Images Opening Day (7)


Shakedown report

Honours even for Seb and Jari-Matti.

 

The final leg of the World Rally Championship (WRC) is underway. Thursday saw the WRC drivers warm up for the final rally weekend of the year in Wales. The Rally Great Britain is famed more than any other rally for its ever-changing conditions and demanding special stages – including plenty of slippery mud. The Shakedown, which took place this morning on the 3.32-kilometre “Clocaenog” route, gave the drivers a taste of things to come.

 

World champion* Sébastien Ogier and the man currently second in the overall standings, Jari-Matti Latvala, clocked identical times in the warm-up ahead of the season finale. The Volkswagen pair both set the fastest time of 2:01.4 minutes. Third place went to Kris Meeke (Citroën). The fast, narrow gravel roads through the thick Welsh forests really put the drivers to the test in the Shakedown. The real action kicks off on Friday morning, with the 32.14-kilometre “Hafren 1” stage.

 

When the rally does get underway, Ogier and Latvala will be joined by fellow Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen. The Norwegian, who still has a mathematical chance of pipping his team-mate Latvala to the runner-up spot in the World Championship in Wales, was not feeling well on Thursday. The winner of the Rally Spain flew back to Germany for a precautionary medical check-up. The results came back clear, leaving Mikkelsen free to get back behind the wheel of his Polo R WRC on Friday.


* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.
 


 

Shakedown result: 

 

1. Sébastien Ogier (Polo R WRC #1) 2m 01.4s.

2. Jari-Matti Latvala (Polo R WRC #2) 2m 01.4s.

3. Kris Meeke (Citroën) 2m 01.7s.

4. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) 2m 01.9s.

5. Hayden Paddon (Hyundai) 2m 02.4s.

6. Dani Sordo (Hyundai) 2m 02.6s.

7. Mads Østberg (Citroën) 2m 02.7s.

8. Elfyn Evans (Ford) 2m 02.8s.

9. Kevin Abbring (Hyundai) 2m 03.4s.

10. Stéphane Lefebvre (Citroën) 2m 03.6s.


Quotes from the Volkswagen team

„Slippery and demanding.“

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“Julien and I have prepared as well as possible for the Rally Great Britain. I really like it here, and this year’s rally once again features some wonderful stages. As expected, the conditions are slippery and demanding. However, I have coped well with them for the past two years. We had a special guest at the Shakedown, in the form of Audi’s Le Mans engineer Leena Gade – I think she rather enjoyed getting away from the racetrack and into the mud.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2

“The Shakedown went very well and I felt very comfortable in the Polo R WRC from the word go – although we did not do any testing in the run-up to the Rally. We agreed a basic set-up with our engineer whilst we were in Spain, and we were spot on from the outset. Despite this, we still tried out a few different things, in order to be prepared for the changing conditions. I am really looking forward to the start of the first stage. Wales is like a second home rally for me, and I always enjoy coming back here. A good result would be a nice way to end the 2015 season.”

 

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9

“Unfortunately we had to skip the Shakedown today. I was not feeling 100 per cent yesterday. We sat down with the doctors and decided I should go for a thorough check-up, as a precaution. That did not reveal anything, so we were given the green light for the rally. I’m okay, but I have obviously missed out on the experience I would have gained on the Shakedown. I usually find it easy enough to switch from asphalt, as we had last time out in Spain, to the gravel we have here in Great Britain. I am looking forward to the rally now. I want to find the special rhythm you need here in Wales as quickly as possible, then push really hard. This is where I used to live, did my driving test and started my career. As such, I am really motivated to end the season in style in my second home.”


Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport-Direktor
“The conditions at the Rally Great Britain are always unique in Wales. Our goal for the Shakedown was naturally to adapt to these conditions and to prepare as well as possibly for the next three days. Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala showed they are in top form, both clocking identical fastest times. Andreas Mikkelsen would also have liked to have had this confidence boost, but he had to miss today’s Shakedown, as he was not feeling well yesterday. Our doctors preferred to give him a thorough check-up and have given him the green light to start the rally. We are looking forward to a furious finale, with all three of our winning crews in top form.”


Opening day in Great Britain.


Friday, 06.11.2015


Let the mud games begin.

Three natural born winners striving for the perfect end to the season: Volkswagen is all set for one last big push at the 13th and final round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship. The old and new world champions* Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila, who have won three times this season and are currently second overall, and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene, winners for first time on their last outing in Spain, have nothing to lose and are out to put the icing on the cake at the end of what has been a successful season for all three pairs.

They could yet equal one of Volkswagen’s records in the forests and hills of Wales, which traditionally form the backdrop for the Rally Great Britain. 11 of the 12 rallies to date in 2015 have been won by the Polo R WRC. Should Volkswagen claim a 12th victory of the year, it will equal its own record of 12 wins from 13 rallies, which it set in 2014. With a total of 24 podium finishes, the 2015 season has already been more successful than last year. However, the task will be far from easy: the damp, muddy and slippery gravel roads that are typical of Wales make the Rally Great Britain a unique challenge on the WRC calendar. 19 special stages and a total 310.15 kilometres against the clock await the competitors in 2015.

 

“What we have achieved this year is incredible. Out of twelve possible wins, eleven have gone to Wolfsburg,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “So there’s no doubt that we want to be right at the top again in Wales. And in line with our principle: may the best man win. Without any team orders at all, we can already look back on a year in which all three drivers and co-drivers have won for us. All three of them will try to shine once again in Wales – preferably with a win – and carry this momentum into the next season. So purely from a Volkswagen perspective it will be a very interesting rally. And our rivals will also want to end the season on a positive note – and make our lives as difficult as possible.”

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA. 


Quotes from the Volkswagen team

“We will push now as hard as we can one final time.”

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“It is a shame that our Rally Spain ended as it did. However, that is in the past and I am now looking forward to the Rally Great Britain, which Julien and I have won for the past two years. The special stages are exquisite to drive, although there is usually very little grip. When you drive in Wales, it does not really matter what the weather forecast looks like. You know before you even get there that the roads are going to be very slippery. I usually cope very well with that. Our situation is the same as it was in Spain, and in France before that. We have already won all three championships and can finish the season without any pressure. No matter whether it is the first or last rally of a season, I always want to win. The same goes for the Rally Great Britain. It goes without saying that everyone wants to win in Wales, before heading into the well-earned winter break.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“The special stages at the Rally Great Britain mainly run through forests and are fast and flowing to drive. I like that because it reminds me of the rally in Finland. That is not the only reason the Rally Great Britain is like a second home rally for me. I associate a lot of great experiences with Wales: I made my WRC debut there in 2002, and won the rally in 2011 and 2012. I would obviously love to repeat that feat this year. Miikka and I had a few problems in the first few rallies of the year. However, we turned a corner together and are now looking to crown our successful second half of the season with a good result. A successful end to the season would allow us to take even more momentum into the ‘Monte’ next year. That is definitely our goal. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone in the team. They have done an outstanding job all year. We will now push as hard as we can one final time, before we head off for a hard-earned break.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“The maiden WRC victory for Ola and me at the Rally Spain was very special – especially as it means that monkey is now off our back and we can put our foot down at the Rally Great Britain without any pressure. I have a special connection with Wales: I moved there at the age of 17 to get my driving license. I also contested my first WRC rally in Wales. As such, it is always a nice feeling to return to these routes. Like the Rally Sweden, the Rally Great Britain is something of a home race for me. Many old acquaintances will be there, cheering me on. I am really looking forward to it. We will obviously be packing our umbrellas and raincoats – you always have to be ready for poor weather in Wales. That always makes the rally a bit tricky, as the special stages are extremely muddy and slippery. I have a taste for blood after winning in Spain and now want to win again as soon as possible.”


Number for the Rally

75

Andreas Mikkelsen took his place in the history books at the Rally Spain as the 75th winner in the World Rally Championship. As such, all three of the current Volkswagen duos have been victorious with the Polo R WRC – incidentally, they have all tasted more success with the Volkswagen than any other manufacturer. 543 WRC rallies have been held since 1973. For comparison: 713 Formula One Grands Prix have been held in the same period – with 62 different winners.