Search results for "'solberg'"

03 December 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Fifth place for Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Polo GTI R5 at Prague Rally Sprint

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Prague Rally Sprint

The new Polo GTI R5 followed up on its podium place on the 2018 Rally Spain with a fifth place finish at the 2018 Prague Rally Sprint. Vojtěch Štajf / Karel Janeček just missed out on victory in the number 21 Baumschlager Rallye & Racing (BRR) car.

The first customer-run Polo GTI R5 in competition – which was only handed over to the Austrian team last week – crossed the line just 6.1 seconds behind the winners Martin Koči and Radovan Mozner Jr in their Škoda Fabia R5. Štajf and Janeček were leading by over 13 seconds going into the final stage, and looked set to take the first non-works Polo GTI R5 win. However, the duo sadly clipped a kerb, which cost them time.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Prague Rally Sprint

A first stage win was also on the cards, too, on stage four, at 10.86kms the longest of the event. The Czech pairing finished just four tenths of a second off the leading time. The Prague Rally Sprint was the first competitive outing for a Polo GTI R5 in customer hands. The 270bhp four-wheel drive machine had previously demonstrated its speed on gravel and tarmac at the Rally Spain in October, where both the crews of Petter Solberg / Veronica Engan and Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas both won special stages.

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25 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

First Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 delivered to Baumschlager Rallye & Racing

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

The first customer Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 rally car to emerge from Volkswagen Motorsport’s Hannover workshops has been handed over to its new owner. Car number one has gone to Baumschlager Rallye & Racing, owned by Raimund Baumschlager. The 59 year-old Austrian rally champion helped with the development of the 270bhp Polo GTI R5, and has campaigned an ex-works Polo R WRC in national rally championships.

Baumschlager and his team intends to focus on the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) with its Polo GTI R5. The 2019 ERC consists of eight rounds, and the R5 class forms the top category in the series. The class is also mandatory in the U28 competition. The first outing for Baumschlager’s car will be at the Prague Rallysprint (Pražský Rallysprint) on 1 December.

Another Polo GTI R5 was handed over to the Italian HK Racing team Italy, who will run the new car at the Monza Rally Show from 7-9 December, with cars for Belgian teams Bernard Munster Autosport and THX Racing arriving in the last week of November. Seven more Polo GTI R5 are scheduled to be delivered to customers in, Finland, Paraguay, Portugal and Sweden by the end of 2018.

Two different chassis
The ERC is held on both tarmac and gravel surfaces, so Baumschlager’s Polo was ordered with the components necessary for two chassis set-ups. ‘Two Polo GTI R5 are already earmarked for the ERC. We have a handful of interested parties for the third car,’ said Baumschlager. ‘We have had many enquiries from customers who enjoy a close association with VW and are very pleased that it is now also offering a rally car,’ added the 14-time Austrian rally champion.

The four-wheel drive Polo GTI R5 is a customer sports rally car developed by Volkswagen Motorsport for the R5 class. The R5 cars are relatively close to their production counterparts, and are approved in the WRC 2 category of the World Rally Championship, but they also represent the highest class in selected regional and national championships.

‘Start of a new chapter’
‘The Polo GTI R5 rally car heralds the start of a new chapter for Volkswagen Motorsport,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. ‘After the homologation by the FIA and the successful competitive debut in Spain – complete with a podium result for Petter Solberg – the delivery of the first car to a customer marks the next major milestone.’

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

The production and distribution of between 30 and 40 Polo GTI R5s a year is planned from 2019. Juliane Gründl, Head of Sales at Volkswagen Motorsport, said: ‘The handing over of the first Polo GTI R5 takes the new customer sport project at Volkswagen Motorsport into the next phase. We currently working hard on the production of more cars, as well as the logistics required to distribute spare parts all over the world are also in place.’

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30 October 2018 ~ 0 Comments

World class: ‘strong debut’ for Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 at Rally Spain

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, Rally Spain: Camilli/Veillas

Volkswagen Motorsport described the first – and only – works outing for its new Polo GTI R5 rally car as a ‘strong debut’. Petter Solberg took a third place podium finish at the 2018 Rally Spain, while Eric Camilli led the WRC 2 category for much of the event before a defect in the gearshift linkage dashed hopes of a Volkswagen victory.

The new 270bhp four-wheel drive customer sports machine made a good impression on the Spanish gravel and tarmac event and proved it was competitive to other more long-standing rivals. That’s good news for the eight customers who have so far placed orders for the €190,000 (tarmac-spec price) WRC 2 weapon. The first cars will be delivered to their international teams over the coming weeks.

Best time
The Polo GTI R5 was impressive from the off in Spain, and scored a best time on the first special stage, a feat shared by its top-flight Polo R WRC predecessor on its debut in 2013. Camilli and co-driver Benjamin Veillas initially took the WRC 2 class lead, but on the second day, when the action switched to tarmac, the pair opted for a hard tyre choice and forfeited their lead, only to be chasing for it again later in the day.

With just three tenths of a second between the Frenchmen and the eventual winners Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen, a defect in the shift linkage cost Camilli and Veillas their hopes of victory. However, on their return under Rally 2 regulations on day three, the Polo pair secured more best times, including that of the special stage on the revered ‘Riudecanyes’ section.

‘Very proud’
Camilli was upbeat, despite his day two retirement: ‘There’s one thing I’d like to say first, because it’s very important to me: I enjoyed every single minute in the Polo GTI R5 this weekend, it’s so much fun driving the car. We wanted to show that the Polo is fast in all conditions – I think that we demonstrated that with best times on gravel and tarmac. With a little bit more luck Benjamin and I could have celebrated a better result, possibly even the class win. I am very proud that I was privileged to be part of this special debut.’

Elsewhere, in car number 49, Solberg and co-driver Veronica Engan caused a stir with the best time on the most challenging and longest gravel stage of the rally on their return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) after six years away, and finished the event in a strong third position.

Ex-WRC champion Solberg was delighted: ‘What a fantastic result after six years away! It was not an easy task with just two days of testing and totally new pace notes. Which is why I am very proud of what Veronica and I achieved. A podium result on the debut – things couldn’t have gone much better.

‘We avoided all risks, and always looked for a clean line. With a little bit more of an attack, no doubt we could have come away with more. But the most important thing is that I had an incredible amount of fun in the car, and when you finish on the podium with champagne, you start to mull things over. A quick word about Sébastien Loeb: it was simply fantastic what he did here. Congratulations on his exceptional win!’ he commented.

‘Strong debut’
Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director was happy, too. ‘We are really pleased with the Polo GTI R5’s debut and I think that we have completed our mission. Petter and Eric delivered top performances in very difficult conditions and helped the Polo GTI R5 make a strong debut, with both drivers getting best times.’

‘Leading the first rally ahead of strong competition and winning special stages on different surfaces is a clear sign that the new Polo GTI R5 is extremely competitive. At the same time, we know that the car has even more potential,’ Smeets disclosed.

‘The pace of the new Polo GTI R5 was good from the start,’ said Gerard-Jan de Jongh, Technical Project Lead for the Polo GTI R5. ‘Eric Camilli and Petter Solberg demonstrated that the car is competitive and fast in all conditions and with both drivers. However, a competition like the Rally Spain is always different from testing – which is why a minor defect had a major impact. But the problem with the shift linkage is an easy one to solve and eliminate before the car is delivered to customers,’ de Jongh assured.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, Rally Spain: Camilli/Veillas

Prospective Polo GTI R5 customers had the chance to view the car in the Rally Spain service park – especially during the transformation from gravel to tarmac spec which involved the switching of 1,025 parts in just 75 minutes – and there looks to be a number added to the 15 cars already sold. Due to be delivered by the end of the year, the first Polo GTI R5s are heading to teams in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Paraguay and Sweden. The cars are being made at Volkswagen Motorsport’s Hannover base and the Ikarusallee crew has a goal to produce 30 to 40 Polo GTI R5s in 2019.

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05 October 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Motorsport reveals final look and livery for Polo GTI R5

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

Twenty days before it makes its competitive debut on the Rally Spain, Volkswagen Motorsport has pulled the covers off the livery which will adorn the new Polo GTI R5. Borrowing a style seen on the Golf GTI TCR touring car – also a Volkswagen customer sports racer – the Polo GTI R5’s optical style incorporates many of the typical ‘GTI’ branding motifs, including a red, white and black colour scheme, as well as the now traditional ‘honeycomb’ elements.

Typically, as is the standard in motorsport, the latest rally Polo’s striking look was applied as a film. ‘The Polo GTI R5 looks really exciting,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. Nico Mühr, Exterior Design Volkswagen, commented: ‘We purposely used many of the design elements from the production vehicles of the GTI family for the Polo GTI R5.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

‘Distinctive look’
‘In addition to the typical colours of red, white, black and the line on the front grille, it is the GTI icons with their honeycomb structure in particular that give the new rally Polo its distinctive look. Ultimately, the Polo GTI R5, despite its extreme rally look, remains clearly identifiable as – no doubt the fastest – member of the Polo family,’ he stated.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

The first Polo GTI R5s will be delivered to their new customer team owners in November. What they will take delivery of is a 270bhp, four-wheel drive machine, which can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.1 seconds. Powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection engine, and weighing 1,230kg, the new stage-munching Polo has a 20-month development period behind it, which includes over 10,000 test kilometres in a range of climates.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

This thoroughness is due in part to the regulations. ‘Only minimal technical modifications are allowed to be made to an R5 during the specified motorsport lifetime of five years,’ explained Gerard Jan de Jongh, Technical Project Lead Polo GTI R5. ‘This is why we prepared ourselves as well and thoroughly as possible.’ Rally aces Eric Camilli and Petter Solberg have been confirmed as the drivers that will pilot the Polo GTI R5 on its Rally Spain debut, which starts on 25 October.

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20 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

2018 Volkswagen Polo R Supercar rallycross machine revealed

2018 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R

Until now, it’s just been seen testing, but today, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden pulled the covers of the new Polo R Supercar at Autostadt in Wolfsburg. The 570bhp four-wheel drive machine will once again be the chariot of choice for reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson and his team-mate and team boss Petter Solberg.

While the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship Polo looks similar to its victorious 2017 predecessor, it features an optimised aerodynamic package, which should help it stay at the front of the chasing World RX pack. The engine cooling has been redesigned, while a new rear wing creates more downforce than before and is more adjustable in its set-up. Overall, around 20 per cent of the parts of the 2018 car are new.

The silhouette is still that of the fifth-generation Polo which was replaced by the sixth-generation car last summer, but elements such as the light decals are obviously inspired by the newer model, and appear to be very similar to that car. Even though it looks very little changed to its predecessor, Volkswagen Motorsport is at pains to state that the 2018 Polo R Supercar is markedly different to its GTI-branded ancestor under the bonnet.

And of course, that’s another point. The 2017 car wore GTI badges to correlate with the Polo GTI road car, even though they weren’t actually related and the rallycross machine is, in effect, a silhouette racer. Widely seen as a good move, as the Polo R WRC was so far removed from the road-going Polo, it was debatable whether the motorsport ‘halo’ effect of selling more cars if said cars are seen in high-level action actually worked. There has never been a high-performance Polo R, so the new ‘strategic partnership’ with Volkswagen R GmbH seems a little odd. However, Volkswagen Motorsport is still on board with PSRX Volkswagen Sweden as before.

Perfect pairing
Also remaining are 2017 World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson and rally and rallycross star and PSRX team owner Petter Solberg. They proved an almost perfect pairing in the 2017 season, and are hoping repeat achievements in 2018. Kristoffersson, now starts with the world champion’s number 1 on his car: ‘The initial tests with the new Polo R Supercar have been very good.

‘The development department of Volkswagen Motorsport has done a magnificent job. As world champion, I am obviously particularly under pressure – but I don’t mind that. On the contrary, I am looking forward to some spectacular and hopefully exciting battles with the opposition,’ the young Swede declared.

He continued: ‘It feels much too long since the final World RX round of last year in South Africa last November. I have done lots of training – and competed in the World Rally Championship – but nothing compares with that feeling of being back in a Volkswagen Polo R Supercar. When we started testing again this year, I was sitting in the car smiling to myself. I’m so excited to be back and so excited to start the defence of my title from 2017.’

‘So much success’
Solberg said: ‘Last year the agreement for PSRX to partner with Volkswagen Sweden and Volkswagen Motorsport came very late – but we made so much success. Now it’s the job of us all to build on this success. It’s not going to be easy.

‘On a personal level, I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel. Over the winter season, I have spent quite a lot of time behind a desk and I definitely prefer my office with four wheels and a roll cage! Seriously, I am a competitor and I want to start competing again.’

‘There is no question, the new season promises to be very exciting. The opposition will do everything in their power to take our title,’ said Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. ‘Our goal is obviously to provide Johan and Petter with a good car, which will allow them to challenge for the world title again. I am confident that we will achieve this, and that the new partnership with Volkswagen R will give us even more power.’

‘Inspiration and passion’
Jost Capito, managing director of Volkswagen R GmbH (and a vital ingredient in the 2013-2016 Polo R WRC’s success), is looking forward to the partnership in the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship: ‘Volkswagen R has always drawn inspiration and passion from motor racing. We will now actively build on these qualities in close cooperation with our colleagues at Volkswagen Motorsport and the PSRX team. The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be really exciting and we are looking forward to working with our partners.’

The 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship gets underway on 14-15 April in Barcelona and will travel three continents over 12 rounds, ending up in Cape Town on 24-25 November. 2018 highlights include a round at the new Silverstone rallycross circuit, and an outing in Austin, Texas, will be the first time the series has visited the US.

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