Cologne Cathedral as a backdrop, enthralled spectators and a perfect start – Volkswagen made an outstanding start to its home WRC event with the Polo R WRC. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) set the fastest time on both of the opening day’s special stages to move into the overall lead at the Rally Germany. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) remained their team-mates’ closest rivals, ending the first leg of the rally just 5.7 second seconds behind Ogier/Ingrassia. They are followed in third and fourth by Thierry Neuville (Ford) and Dani Sordo (Citroën). The German round of the World Championship represents the debut at a purely asphalt rally for the Polo R WRC.

The rally opened with two very different stages. The “Blankenheim” special stage in the Eifel region of Germany saw the route branch off in numerous places and featured a lot of braking and accelerating. The second stage of the day, “Sauertal” near Trier, demanded a far more flowing and rhythmical driving style.

Quotes after day one of the Rally Germany

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7
“That was a good start for us – I am very happy with second place. I hope I can match Séb’s pace again tomorrow. At the same time, I must also keep an eye on Thierry Neuville, as he is currently my direct rival in the championship. My Polo feels very good, although I did have a lot of understeer on the opening stage – as, it would appear, did a lot of other people. It was a great idea to move the start of the rally to Cologne. It was an impressive backdrop with so many spectators in front of Cologne Cathedral. This allows us to stir up more interest and win more fans for our sport.”

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8
“The Rally Germany has started perfectly for us. First the great atmosphere in Cologne, with the famous cathedral in the background. And then also from a sporting point of view. My advantage on the first stage was that I was first out onto the route. That definitely won me a few seconds. However, the rally does not really get going until tomorrow, when we face six difficult stages in the vineyards. It goes without saying that my goal is to still lead come the end of the rally.”

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director”
“You could not wish for a better start to your home rally. Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala were both wide awake, right from the first second. The Polo R WRC also made a good start to its first all-asphalt rally. However, that was just the opening 40 kilometres of the rally. We still have a good 330 ahead of us. The start has been very promising, but it ultimately means very little. What it does do, however, is give the entire team a healthy confidence ahead of the coming 14 special stages, as well as an extra boost of motivation.”

And then there were …

… the new models of the Polo R WRC, available in the collector scale of 1:43. The 315-hp four-wheel drive powerhouse from Wolfsburg made its WRC debut at the Rally Monte Carlo in January 2013. Volkswagen duo Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia in the number 8 Polo R WRC promptly won the first stage of the classic in the French Maritime Alps. The Frenchman ended the rally in second place. From the start of September, just in time for the IAA in Frankfurt am main, the replica of the number 8 and its sister car, the number 7 Polo belonging to Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila, will be available in the “Monte” version.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.