25 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

No hiccups or Hinkelsteins: Volkswagen conquers Rally Germany with 1-2-3 result

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC: Rally Germany: Ogier/ingrassia

It’s taken three attempts, but Volkswagen Motorsport has finally conquered its home event of Rally Germany, with double World Rally Championship (WRC) winner Sébastien Ogier emerging victorious at the event set around the vineyards of the Trier region. The win means Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia could take a third drivers’ crown as soon as Rally Australia next month.

Dream homecoming
In a dream homecoming in front of 225,000 enthusiastic spectators, the Polo R WRC was also on the runners up steps of the podium. Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen finished the event second and third respectively and created a podium lock-out and clean sweep in all senses of the words.

After disappointment in 2013 and 2014, the outfit from Wolfsburg was set on victory on home soil and the first all-asphalt rally of the year. It dominated from the outset with Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila recording the fastest average speed of 115.84km/h. Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Fløene were second and Ogier and Ingrassia were fourth.

Masterclass of driving skill
Latvala and Anttila pushed Ogier and Ingrassia hard and were always within touching distance of their leading team-mates. That was until Ogier pulled out all the stops and put on a masterclass of driving skill on the Hinkelstein-laden ‘Panzerplatte’ stage on the Baumholder military training ground. He and Ingrassia showed their world-class credentials and blasted ahead of the competition.

After Latvala and Anttila’s emotional win at Rally Finland, the Finns at least collected the top three bonus points on the Power Stage. Citröen’s Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle were second, followed by Hyundai’s Dani Sordo and Marc Martí.

Ogier enjoyed an emotional victory: ‘I am absolutely delighted with this win! The fact that Julien and I are finally able to present our fantastic team with the long-awaited home win makes both of us extremely proud. Now we have finally done it, with a one-two-three. An incredibly emotional moment!

‘Everyone in the team does so much to ensure that we can challenge for victories. This win at the Rally Germany is our way of saying thank you – and it goes without saying that this success would not have been possible without that great Volkswagen team spirit.’

‘Simply too good’
Latvala was equally ecstatic: ‘It is a great day for Volkswagen and the entire team! A one-two-three is obviously the right way to bounce back from the results of the past two years. Everyone coped well with the pressure and worked hard to make this success possible.

‘I am very happy with my second place. After all, it is still an asphalt rally, which means it is not exactly a Finn’s favourite surface. I would obviously have liked to have repeated my success from Finland, but Ogier was simply too good this weekend. You just have to acknowledge that.’

‘Absolutely fantastic result’
Mikkelsen reported how his cautious approach paid off: ‘What an absolutely fantastic result for Volkswagen, and how nice to see so many happy faces back at the service park. Nowhere was the desire to win shown by everyone in the team as great as here.

‘It was important to us to make amends for recent years with such a phenomenal result. It feels fantastic to have been a part of it. After the good start, we were in a relatively safe third place. The last two days were all about maintaining this position without taking any risks. We managed that, but it was not particularly exciting. However, that is exactly what we wanted: an uneventful Rally Germany.’

‘Maginificent success’
Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director once again praised his team on its very special result: ‘A one-two-three at your home rally is certainly very special. However, given our history at this round of the World Championship, which was the only rally we had not won before today, it is more emotional than all the other victories we have celebrated.

‘As always, every single person in the team was totally motivated and consciously did their bit to make this magnificent success possible. However, they actually managed to raise the bar even higher. The entire team has invested so much sweat and tears in this victory. That is what makes it so special.

‘However, I would like to reserve my biggest compliment for our drivers and co-drivers: they withstood huge pressure, lived up to the enormous expectations and did an absolutely outstanding job. I think everyone at Volkswagen is incredibly proud of what we have achieved. I know I certainly am.’

‘The one-two-three at the Rally Germany is a fantastic success for Volkswagen,’ said Dr
Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development. ‘Ideal
preparation, maximum concentration and a huge amount of team spirit are what made this
triumph possible. The Polo R WRC proved once again that it is the fastest car on asphalt too, and mastered the demanding routes in Germany perfectly,’ he continued.

30th Ogier/Ingrassia victory
Rally Germany marked Ogier and Ingrassia’s 30th victory and look set to wrap up a third consecutive Drivers’ Championship at Rally Australia with three events still to follow. The 30th win catapults the French duo into WRC history, as they now equal Marcus Grönholm’s all-time wins second-place record (Grönholm, coincidentally is helping Volkswagen Motorsport develop the next-generation Polo R WRC).

The German result was Volkswagen Motorsport’s fourth one-two-three and the third of the 2015 season. In reality, a Volkswagen driver will lift the drivers’ trophy in 2015, but with Ogier’s sizeable lead in the championship and his unflappable display in Germany, he is the clear favourite. VW should also wrap up the Manufacturers title in Australia, regardless of other manufacturers’ results.

The 318bhp 1,200kg all-wheel drive Polo R WRC has now won all the rallies in the WRC series, the first car to do so. Not only a global success on the passenger car sales markets, the Polo is now a global conquerer on the rally stages, too. Our warmest congratulations go the Volkswagen Motorsport team on this, its most emotional and historic result.

Rally Australia, round 10 of the 2015 World Rally Championship, runs from 10-13 September.

2015 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP,

RALLY GERMANY FINAL RESULTS

1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen: 3h 35m 49.5s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen: + 23.0s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N), Volkswagen: + 1m 56.6s
4 Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai: + 2m 09.3s
5 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai: + 2m 33.8s

2015 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Sébastien Ogier, 207
2 Jari-Matti Latvala, 114
3 Andreas Mikkelsen, 98
4 Mads Østberg, 90
5 Thierry Neuville, 80

2015 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP,

MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1 Volkswagen Motorsport, 300
2 Hyundai Motorsport, 161
3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT, 148
4 M-Sport, 138
5 Volkswagen Motorsport II, 64

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