Wolfsburg (18 January 2013). Tyre poker and tyre test: day three of the Rally Monte Carlo saw Volkswagen and the Polo R WRC successfully overcome difficult conditions and a true classic. The varying conditions on the “St. Jean en Royans”, “St. Nazaire le Desert” and legendary “Sisteron” special stages meant tyre selection once again played a major role. The surface alternated continuously between tarmac and an awful lot of ice and snow. Volkswagen made its tyre selection with the final day of the “Monte” in mind, with the intention being to save as many as possible of the 20 spiked tyres available per car. The cooperation with the ice spies and meteorologists, who provided valuable information regarding tyre selection, also paid dividends for Volkswagen. At the end of a day that really put the tyres to the test, the Volkswagen team currently lies second with Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) and fifth overall with Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN). Making its competitive debut at the “Monte”, the Volkswagen Polo R WRC again underlined its speed and reliability, claiming three out of a possible six top-three finishes on day three of the iconic rally.

Quotes, day three of the Rally Monte Carlo

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“We have already achieved more at the Rally Monte Carlo than we could ever have dreamed of beforehand. Both driver/co-driver pairings have done a great job so far. Sébastien Ogier backed up the fantastic results of the first two days of the ‘Monte’ with more top times. Jari-Matti Latvala also produced some great work. When evaluating his performance, you cannot forget that he has considerably fewer kilometres in the Polo R WRC under his belt than his team-mate. Jari-Matti has slotted into the team perfectly, is gradually developing the car to his liking, and is following the strategy perfectly. Furthermore, the entire team is giving an experienced and well-organised impression – and on our first rally with a World Rally Car. From a technical point of view, we are also on the right track: the Polo R WRC is quick and reliable. That gives every one of us extra confidence.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7
“The change to the set-up of the car paid off for me today. Now I have finally found the trust I need to have in the car and am getting good feedback from my Polo R WRC, which had been missing previously. As I have never really done particularly well at the ‘Monte’ in the past, my goal was, and remains, to reach the end of the rally safely. Only that way can we gain more experience, score points, and achieve a positive result at this rally. It would not be in our interest to lose patience. I am happy with the way the day panned out for us.”

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8
“The conditions on the special stages at the Rally Monte Carlo were once again even more demanding today than on the previous days. Today was the first time I have ever driven the opening stage of the day. On the second stage you constantly had to deal with changing surfaces. And the fast downhill sections on ‘Sisteron’ were also tricky. I didn’t take any risks at all, but unfortunately lost a bit of time in a hairpin. Tyre selection was not particularly easy today.”

And then there was …

… Jari-Matti Latvala’s Beetle. The Latvalas use the classic Volkswagen to run errands whilst at their winter holiday home in Lapland. The family’s very own Beetle 1303S, which was built at the start of the 1970s, is still in its original condition. And the effect it has on people is remarkable: it is not Latvala the WRC driver who attracts attention in Lapland, but the orange and red Beetle. Latvala’s co-driver Miikka Anttila also has a soft spot for classic cars: he completely restored a 1983 Golf GTI Pirelli. Anttila purchased the extremely rare car eight years ago in Germany.

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