Rally, FIA World Rally Championship, Test

Wolfsburg (11 January 2013). 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,
the dawn 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
make your 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’s
world championships.

“I cannot wait to finally getting going. The entire team at Volkswagen is looking forward to
the WRC debut of the Polo WRC,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito.
“World Championship rallies in the top WRC class are new territory for the team.
Furthermore, the Polo R WRC has been developed from scratch, features a lot of
innovative ideas, and will be making its competitive debut. The ‘Monte’ will give us our first
indication of how we compare with the opposition – our rivals already have two years’
experience of the regulations that came into force in 2011, and have been driving in the
WRC for many years. Our goal for the Rally Monte Carlo is to gain as much experience as
possible and to finish with both cars.”

Debut time: Volkswagen, the World Rally Championship and the Rally Monte Carlo
The Rally Monte Carlo is a first for Volkswagen in many regards: the team is competing at
a World Championship rally in the top category for World Rally Cars. At the same time, the
Polo R WRC will make its first competitive outing and the team will be working with a new
driving duo for the first time under rally conditions. Finn Jari-Matti Latvala and his
compatriot and co-driver Miikka Anttila officially joined the Volkswagen outfit at the start of
the year. Prior to their appearance at the “Monte”, the duo with seven WRC wins to their
name have completed a number of test drives.

Latvala and Anttila start the 2013 season in the number 7 Polo R WRC. In the cockpit of
the number 8 Polo will be Frenchmen Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia.
They have been under contract as Volkswagen works drivers since the end of 2011 and
have played significant roles in the development and testing of the Polo R WRC. Together
with co-driver Ingrassia, Ogier, who was born in Gap (F), has already won his home rally
on one occasion. In 2009 the French pair won the classic as guest starters in the
Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). Like Latvala and Anttila, Ogier and Ingrassia
currently have seven WRC race wins to their name.

Simply legendary: the “Monte” challenge in the snow and ice of the mountains
The Volkswagen Motorsport team could hardly be facing a tougher challenge. After all, the
“Monte” is the oldest rally in the world and the “mother of all rallies”, having been held for
the first time in 1911. The majority of the Rally Monte Carlo is held on narrow tarmacked
roads in the French Maritime Alps to the north of the principality of Monaco. While the
lower roads close to the Mediterranean are regularly dry, the drivers are often faced with
black ice and snow on the many mountain passes they are required to negotiate. This
makes it essential to select the right tyre – and makes the “Monte” one of the most difficult
and complex rallies on the World Championship calendar.

Thoughts ahead of the Rally Monte Carlo

Jari-Matti Latvala, Polo R WRC #7
“I can hardly wait for the season to get started. I may already have five years as a works
driver in the World Rally Championship under my belt, but both the Volkswagen Motorsport
team and the Polo R WRC are new to me. As such, I will be making my debut in two
regards. The tests up to now have shown that the Polo R WRC is very reliable. This is
probably the most important finding so far – and a good basis for future technical
developments over the course of the season. I have already developed a good feeling for
the car on asphalt and snow, which is a good sign ahead of the Rally Monte Carlo. It is
great fun driving the Polo R WRC. It is very stable and the driveability of the engine is also
very good. I would like to get the season off to a good start at the ‘Monte’. The result is not
the top priority yet, although I would obviously love to pick up some World Championship
points.”

Sébastien Ogier, Polo R WRC #8
“The ‘Monte’ is a very special rally. After all, it is my home rally. However, the seasonopener
near my home will be an extraordinary experience for the entire team, as it is the
first rally with the new Polo R WRC. We have been working towards this moment with
Volkswagen for over a year. We can hardly wait to finally get started. However, it is difficult
to judge how we will compare to the opposition, as we have not yet raced against the other
teams under competitive conditions. Making your debut in a world championship with a
completely new car is a big challenge, particularly as the other manufacturers have several
years more experience than we do. For this reason we must be patient and concentrate at
first on reaching the finish without any problems. Experience shows that this is anything
but simple at the Rally Monte Carlo, as anything can happen at this event.”

Volkswagen in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
The start in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) sees Volkswagen continue its
successful history in motorsport. Volkswagen claimed overall victory at the Rally Dakar in
2009, 2010 and 2011 with the Race Touareg to claim a hat-trick of titles at the toughest
marathon rally in the world. The Polo R WRC is the first World Rally Car to come out of
Wolfsburg, with the manufacturer now entering its own works team at the pinnacle of
rallying for the first time. This presents Volkswagen with the opportunity to prove itself in
direct sporting competition on a global stage. No model is more suited to the challenge
than the Polo, which is one of Volkswagen’s most internationally manufactured and
distributed cars.

Three questions for … Jost Capito

If you could have chosen a rally for the Polo R WRC to make its debut at – would
you have taken the Rally Monte Carlo?
Jost Capito: “The Rally Monte Carlo is not only the most iconic rally on the World
Championship calendar, but also the most difficult and complex. The surface alternates
regularly between ice, snow, rain and dry asphalt, which can make the strategy difficult
and tyre selection something of a lottery. We are obviously delighted that the Polo R WRC
will make its debut at this highlight.”

In Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala you have signed two very quick drivers.
Who do you feel is the stronger?
Jost Capito: “They are both equally strong. As a Scandinavian, Latvala grew up on gravel
– however, he has made huge progress on asphalt in recent years. The same applies to
Ogier, who also has what it takes to win on any surface. Both have seven WRC wins to
their name. In the end it will come down to who performs best on the day to determine who
is the quickest.”

What goals does Volkswagen have for the 2013 season?
Jost Capito: “We are aware that we will be up against strong opposition with decades of
World Rally Championship experience. The Polo R WRC, on the other hand, is making its
debut this year and the team also has a new look to it. As such, we have to set realistic
goals. We want to make it onto the podium under our own steam in the second half of the
year.”

In numbers The World Rally Championship debut of the Volkswagen Polo R WRC: Nine
Monte Carlo/France, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Finland, Greece, France and
Mexico: in preparation for its outings in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC),
Volkswagen tested the Polo R WRC in nine different countries on gravel, asphalt, snow
and ice. The works team from Wolfsburg spent more than 100 test days optimising the
Polo R WRC in 2012.

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