Volkswagen Motorsport ended its record-breaking World Rally Championship (WRC) season with a win at Wales Rally GB from 13-16 November. Once again Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took the spoils, slipping and sliding their Polo R WRC to finish first ahead of Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, and Citroën’s Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson.
The #2 Polo R WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila came home eighth, a good result after the pair suffered a number of setbacks in north Wales. The British event proved eventful for Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene, too. A handful of early stage wins and four second places on day two were offset by crashes on both day one and day three.
Eighth victory for Ogier
Ogier and Ingrassia’s victory was their eighth of the 2014 season, and it added to Volkswagen Motorsport’s record number of victories in one year tally – the German outfit scored a total of 12 (out of 13 events) during 2014. With the World Champion* and Manufacturers’* titles already in the bag, the pressure was off Ogier, but he still drove like it mattered.
Ogier and Ingrassia shot ahead into a commanding lead of over a minute on day one of Wales Rally GB and then paced themselves on the following two days, barely putting a foot wrong. The usual deadly mixture of fog and wet, muddy conditions were omnipresent on the 305.64 kilometres of Welsh forest gravel stages, but Ogier almost literally sailed through it all.