24 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen takes 1-2-3 win and World Championship title at Rally Australia

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Australia: Volkswagen Motorsport team

It’s done it again. Volkswagen Motorsport has claimed its second World Rally Championship with the fearsome Polo R WRC in as many years*. It’s the fastest Manufacturers’ Championship title victory in 25 years, and was secured by a one-two-three podium at Rally Australia from 12-14 September.

Once again Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took the spoils with a dominant drive. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila came home second, while Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene followed behind.

It gets better. With only three rallies remaining in 2014, Ogier/Ingrassia and Latvala/Anttila are the only duos battling it out for the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship title. Defending champions Ogier/Ingrassia are currently leading the standings, with a 50-point lead over their team-mates.

The French duo’s win was the 19th victory for the Polo R WRC in only its 23rd outing, while Latvala’s and Anttila’s second place gave the small car its 35th podium since its debut at the 2013 Rally Monte Carlo.

Ogier was pleased with his and his team’s win: ‘Absolutely fantastic. I am made up for our team! They really deserve this success so much. It is hard to put this feeling into words. The fact that we have wrapped up the World Championship title with the first ever all-Volkswagen podium is an incredible success. A win would be enough for me to secure the Drivers’ title now. It would be magnificent to pull it off in France.’

Latvala was equally jubilant: ‘A fantastic success. I am delighted for the entire team. The Manufacturers’ title is a great recognition of the fact that everyone at Volkswagen has been utterly committed to being successful, and also shows that the Polo is the best rally car around.

‘We also produced some first-class racing again – Miikka and I tried to put Sébastien and Julien under pressure right up until the finish, but they were unbeatable.

‘Congratulations on a deserved win. I am very happy with my own performance. Unfortunately we lost crucial seconds with the wrong tyre selection, which probably cost us the win. In any case, it is phenomenal to stand here on the podium with all three Polos. There can be no better way to win a World Championship title,’ he continued.

Volkswagen’s Australian success was hard fought. With technical winding sections through the New South Wales forests and fast tracks in the open, the German team’s drivers had to keep their concentration over 20 stages and 302 competitive kilometres.

Constantly varying gravel surfaces – on the seventh gravel event of the season – added to the demands of man and machine. Ogier finished 6.8 seconds ahead of Latvala, but the Finn turned the tables in the Power Stage, securing more bonus points to add to the team tally than the Frenchman.

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director praised his winning team: ‘What a way to put the icing on the cake at the end of such an impressive season! Winning the Manufacturers’ title with a one-two-three – it doesn’t get any better. Last year we surpassed all expectations, particularly our own.

‘Even then, everyone in the team consistently pushed themselves to their limits to win the World Championship. It is always more difficult to successfully defend the World Championship title than it is to win it in the first place.

‘What the team has achieved this season, and the extent to which it has improved, demands my utmost respect. A chain is only ever as strong as its weakest link, as they say. With us, every link is as strong as the next.

‘I would like to thank my colleagues. Volkswagen is proud of them. And this title is for everyone at Volkswagen around the world, whose support has been magnificent.’

The 300bhp four-wheel drive Polo R WRC has won 297 out of a possible 428 stages since its arrival on the World Rally Championship scene in January 2013. It won 17 stages at Rally Australia alone. In the 1208 times that a Polo R WRC has started a special stage, the Volkswagen duos have achieved 679 top three times.

Volkswagen Motorsport has also won with the Polo R WRC in all 14 countries that have hosted a rally, except at the home event in Germany. The next event, Rally France, takes place in the Alsace region of France over 3-5 October.

*subject to confirmation from the FIA.

2014 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP,

RALLY AUSTRALIA FINAL RESULTS


1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen: 2h 53m 18.0s

2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen: + 6.8s

3 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N), Volkswagen: + 1m 18.0s

4 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën: + 1m 44.0s

5 Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN/FIN), Ford: + 1m 53.6s


2014 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP,

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Sébastien Ogier, 214

2 Jari-Matti Latvala, 164

3 Andreas Mikkelsen, 125

4 Mikko Hirvonen, 83
5 Thierry Neuville, 79



2014 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP,

MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS


1 Volkswagen Motorsport, 348

2 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT, 154

3 M-Sport, 146
3 Hyundai Motorsport, 141
5 Volkswagen Motorsport II, 109

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