17 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

WRC class win for Volkswagen’s Ogier and Ingrassia at Rally GB

2012 Rally of Great Britain: Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia

Volkswagen Motorsport added another class victory to its winning tally at the Rally GB on 13-16 September, as Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took first place in the Super 2000 classification. Continuing the testing programme for next year’s full-on Polo R WRC entry, Ogier’s class win now makes it the ninth in as many rallies. Finishing 12th overall, the French pairing collected much more valuable gravel surface experience for 2013’s WRC programme. Taking top times in 16 of the 19 special stages, Ogier and Ingrassia were already running one minute ahead by the time the cars reached the end of the first leg, which started in Llandudno.

‘On the first day the conditions were sometimes difficult, as the stages were muddy and very slippery. On Saturday, however, it was a different experience because dry tracks on the Rally GB have been in short supply. The fast gravel stages were great fun,’ explained Ogier, for whom this marked his eighth class victory this season. ‘Our goal was to familiarise ourselves with the event and to reach the finish. The fight in our class was decided early, but at the same time we posed no threat to the many stronger WRC cars.’

As tends to be the case, it wasn’t quite such a jubilant finish for Ogier’s and Ingrassia’s teammates Kevin Abbring and Frédéric Miclotte. Finishing 25th overall after sustaining suspension damage in stage nine, the pair hit a huge stone, breaking a wishbone link. The Volkswagen Motorsport team repaired the damage at the Service Park in Cardiff, but Abbring and Miclotte received a 25-minute Rally 2 regulation time penalty, knocking the down the field. Abbring had attained second in class prior to the incident, but still scored to best times on the Sunday’s stages and developed his pace note system.

‘Now the final phase of our preparations begins for next year’s World Rally Championship. On one side we’re working hard on the Polo R WRC, but at the same time we’re preparing the Volkswagen Motorsport team for the new task. Our aim in Wales was to get to know the rally under competition conditions and to gain as much experience as possible. Bringing both Škoda Fabia S2000s to Cardiff was important for the entire team. The ninth class win of the season shows that the crew is already working with a high degree of routine and is competitive,’ explained Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito.

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