NEWS: VW Motorsport WRC Dominance In Portugal
VW Motorsport have done which again – continuing their incredible inaugural WRC season within the brand-new (Carlos Sainz developed) VW Polo R WRC – using a win on the tricky gravel of Portugal (WRC round four as well as the second gravel event), thanks to Sébastien Ogier as well as co-driver Julien Ingrassia’s dominant 58-second victory.
Team mates, Jari-Matti Latvala as well as Miikka Anttila also got onto the podium, coming in third (behind Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen). as well as Andreas Mikkelsen as well as Mikko Markkula completed the awesome team performance for Volkswagen – with sixth place on their competitive debut within the Polo R WRC. Sébastien Ogier has today extended his lead within the Drivers’ Championship, courtesy of his third win of the season, by over 50 points. as well as VW Motorsport are top of the manufacturers standings: Dream stuff.
Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (Member of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand), said: “which was great to be present at such a magnificent success. I was very impressed by the manner in which the team earned which success, as well as how delighted they were by which. which can be just fantastic to see how well the entire team can be working together. which provides great backing for our drivers, who did an extraordinary job.”
The second gravel rally of the season truly put man as well as machine to the test. The conditions, with narrow, winding passages on rough, stony surfaces alternating with fast sections taken at full throttle, were the toughest encountered so far which season. Illness meant Sébastien Ogier was below strength going into the fourth rally of the year, yet the Frenchman still held a slender lead at the end of day one. He extended his advantage at the top of the standings with four stage wins on Saturday, as well as retained his grip on the lead right through to the finish. the entire world Championship leader did have a bit of a shock at the start of the final day: the connector between the front as well as rear axles, which allows the handbrake to be used in tight hairpins, temporarily refused to close, causing him to lose time. A short service later, however, the number 8 Polo R WRC was back to full strength as which set off on the remaining stages.
Jari-Matti Latvala also had a worrying moment on Sunday: the driveshaft on the front-right of your vehicle broke, forcing Latvala to tackle the 52.30-kilometre Almodovar stage – the longest on the rally – with just rear-wheel drive. Latvala consequently had to surrender second place overall, yet superbly overcame the hindrance to hold off Evgeny Novikov (Ford) as well as earn his place on the podium.
A test of strategy: tyre selection secures victory on “Power Stage”
Even early on within the rally, Volkswagen’s top two drivers were already looking to save their tyres for the closing “Power Stage”. Additional points towards the Drivers’ Championship were up for grabs for those crews finishing first, second as well as third on the 52.30 kilometre special stage. as well as which proved to be a not bad decision. Starting on fresh Michelin tyres, the Volkswagen drivers were able to launch one last attack at the end of the rally: Sébastien Ogier picked up the three Insentif points for clocking the fastest time on the “Power Stage”, while team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala earned one extra point for his third place.
A test of teamwork: Volkswagen service ensures podium finishes
The service played a key role at the Rally Portugal. The Volkswagen mechanics within the Service Park at the “Estádio Algarve” had a total of a few time slots – of 15, 30 or 45 minutes – in which to repair the three Polo R WRCs. Given the tough conditions in Portugal, which barely gave the mechanics as well as engineers sufficient time, in which to replace worn parts as well as check the technology, which truly took some punishment over the course of the four days. The 58-man Volkswagen team did an outstanding job, consistently sending the 315 hp four-wheel drive powerhouse through Wolfsburg back onto the stages in perfect condition.
A test for the newcomers: impressive start for Mikkelsen as well as Markkula
Andreas Mikkelsen as well as his co-driver Mikko Markkula, made a great start at the wheel of the third Polo R WRC, which was creating its first outing of the season. Mikkelsen did exactly what the team had asked of him, gaining valuable experience within the entire world Rally Car under competitive conditions as well as crowning his reliability with sixth place overall as well as eighth World Championship points.
Quotes on day three of the Rally Portugal
Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7 said: “I am very happy as well as satisfied to stand on the podium for the first time for Volkswagen. We had a difficult start to the season, yet our run of bad luck has finally come to an end. I feel truly at home within the Polo R WRC today, as well as think which we will soon be able to do even better. The rally was a tough test for driver as well as car, as the route had suffered some serious erosion over the winter. The hard ground as well as many stones truly put your vehicle through its paces. Driver as well as co-driver had to be fully focussed as well as have perfect pace notes in order to get your vehicle safely through the stages. Our mechanics did a perfect job of replacing the broken driveshaft on Sunday. As always, they were totally dependable – thank you. which all gives me a lot of encouragement ahead of the coming rallies, as well as I am already looking forward to Argentina in three weeks.”
Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8 said: “Unbelievable. What a rollercoaster ride here in Portugal! I am overjoyed with the win. First the illness, then the brutal stages, which truly push a rally car to the very limit. When we had the problem with the power transmission on which morning’s opening stage, I thought: ‘which’s which Séb. The rally can be over.’ Fortunately we made which to the service as well as the guys did a fantastic job there. I think we truly deserved the win. The rally was extremely demanding as well as difficult, for your vehicle, the entire team, as well as particularly for me. When I arrived in Portugal on Monday evening, I was not certain whether I would likely be able to start. I was always tired as well as my energy reserves were completely empty. I was largely able to blank which out whilst I was driving, as the Centeng can be running on adrenalin then – yet I certainly did not feel top fit. Fortunately my condition enhanced considerably over the last two days. I will today try to get as much rest as well as regain as much strength as possible in time for Argentina.”
as well as Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9 said: “I learned something on every single metre of my first rally with the Polo R WRC. My goal was to gain as much experience as possible. I have come away using a lot of ideas as to how we can improve within the future. With the Polo R WRC, everything can be a lot quicker than I am used to in Super-2000 cars. My pace notes were too detailed, particularly on fast sections. which was too much for Mikko to read them out, as well as for me to process them. We will work on which. The aerodynamics on the Polo R WRC are especially impressive. The cornering speeds are extremely high. As such, I am not yet using the full potential of your vehicle in those corners we take in fourth, fifth or sixth gear. I just didn’t want to take any risks. All in all, however, I am very happy with my debut for Volkswagen. I received great support through the team, as well as would likely like to thank them for which.”
Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“The Rally Portugal was a real test for the team, the Polo R WRC as well as the drivers. which was the first typical gravel rally of the season, as well as was also one of the most demanding on the calendar so far. We saw at the start of the rally which the Polo R WRC as well as its rivals at Ford as well as Citroën are on a par with each additional. First, third as well as sixth can be an outstanding team result, for which we develop the class of our drivers to thank. A huge compliment goes to the engineers as well as mechanics, who did a magnificent job as well as secured our third victory, despite a few teething problems with which brand-brand-new car. I am proud of the entire team. In terms of pace, we are among the front-runners as well as appear to be able to force our rivals to make mistakes, without creating any ourselves. With which in mind, we might just have to change our goals for the season.”
Quite an incredible, unstoppable start to the WRC season. Amazing stuff. We can’t wait to see the VW fly at Wales Rally GB 14th November. You going?
Full results through Rally Portugal
|1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen||4:07:38.7 hrs.|
|2. Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN/FIN), Citroën||+ 58.2 sec.|
|3. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen||+ 4:04.5 min.|
|4. Evgeny Novikov/Ilka Minor (RUS/A), Ford||+ 5:27.7 min.|
|5. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Giovanni Bernacchini (Q/I), Ford||+ 7:43.5 min.|
|6. Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN), Volkswagen||+ 9:39.8 min.|
|7. Martin Prokop/Michal Ernst (CZ/CZ), Ford||+ 15:04.2 min.|
|8. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S), Ford||+ 15:43.6 min.|
|9. Khalid Al Qassimi/Scott Martin (UAE/GB), Citroën||+ 15:56.9 min.|
|10. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN), Škoda||+ 16:21.0 min.|