06 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Motorsport announces technical fix and update for Polo GTI R5

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

After a spate of Polo GTI R5s unexpectedly and suddenly catching fire – the most recent incident featuring WRC2 star Ole Christian Veiby at last weekend’s Rally Portugal – Volkswagen Motorsport has announced that a technical update will be applied to current customers’ cars.

After consulting with experts, the Hanover outfit states that the problem appears to lie with the position of the safety valve on the fuel tank, which must be adjusted. After the solution has been tested, all cars sold so far will receive the update free of charge. In the meantime, teams who currently run the 270bhp machine have been advised of the findings and have received fuel and check recommendations. The full official Volkswagen Motorsport press release issued today is reproduced below.

Update for the Polo GTI R5: customer cars will be revised
Volkswagen Motorsport is working flat out on a technical update for the Polo GTI R5, after multiple customer cars suffered fire damage at rallies in recent weeks. Working together with experts and consultants, Volkswagen Motorsport has thoroughly investigated several of the cars affected and has already developed technical solutions based on the results. Tests have been arranged at short notice. Once these have been completed, all customer cars will receive the update free of charge.

The investigations revealed that the position of the safety valve on the fuel tank must be adjusted, as its function may be restricted when using a specific fuel. In some instances, the fuel cell breathing system becomes blocked, resulting in ‘over’ pressure. Together with the heat from the exhaust, this ‘over’ pressure can cause a deformation of the tank cover. This can ultimately result in contact between the propshaft and the exhaust, ultimately causing damage to the fuel cell system.

Based on these findings, Volkswagen Motorsport has developed a technical solution. The plan is to reinforce the tank cover around the propshaft and exhaust with a steel support and to optimise the insulation. The fuel cell breathing system is being modified, in order to reliably regulate any possible ‘over’ pressure. Furthermore, the clearance between the central exhaust and the tank is to be increased.

All these measures will be tested in good time and in realistic conditions. Once they have been successfully evaluated, all Polo GTI R5 will receive the update free of charge. Customer teams have already been informed of the procedure and have also received recommendations for suitable fuels and regular checks on their cars.

For more details on the Polo GTI R5, head over to its dedicated pages on the Volkswagen Motorsport website.

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26 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTI R5 results round-up: Gilbert takes third place at Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône: Gilbert/Guieu

French rally driver Quentin Gilbert has taken his HK Racing Polo GTI R5 to third place at the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône, the second round of the 2019 French Rally Championship. Gilbert and co-driver Christopher Guieu just missed out on a runner-up podium position by just 0.8 seconds, beaten by Citroën C3 R5 driver Yohan Rossel.

But, Gilbert was still pleased his and Guieu’s result after the 130-mile event. ‘Of course, we’re disappointed to have missed out on second place by such a small margin, but all in all this is another good result. We had good speed, even though we could not keep up with the pace at the front.’

The winner of the 2019 Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône was reigning French rally champion Yoann Bonato in another Citroën C3 R5. Thanks to this result and their second place at the Rallye Touquet Pas-de-Calais opening round, Gilbert and Guieu are second in the overall 2019 championship standings. Find out more at www.ffsa.org.

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15 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTI R5 results round-up: Princen and Eelbode win 2019 TAC Rally

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI: TAC Rally, Princen/Eelbode

The Polo GTI R5’s success continues away from the headline WRC 2 category of the World Rally Championship. Kris Princen and Bram Eelbode have won the 2019 TAC Rally in a version of the new Volkswagen Motorsport customer sports rally car. The BMA Autosport pair were victorious in six of the 14 special stages, which took place at Tielt in West Flanders.

Princen and Eelbode were initially embroiled in a thrilling battle with countrymen Cédric Cherain and Xavier Portier from the THX team, who were also in a Polo GTI R5, but Cherain and Porter retired after a crash on the third stage. The TAC win is the second for Princen and Eelbode, who also stood on the top step of the podium at February’s Rally van Haspengouw. A third Polo GTI R5 driven by Patrick Snijders and Thiery Davy finished sixth at the TAC Rally, which was round three of the 2019 Belgian Rally Championship.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: TAC Rally, Snijders/Davy

Belgian driver Princen was delighted with his, Eelbode’s and the rallying Polo’s performance: ‘A great result. The pace was high the entire time and Cédric Cherain’s crash did not make it any easier at all, as we were constantly put under pressure by the chasing pack. It is very pleasing to have had no technical issues at all. Our Polo GTI R5 was fantastic. We have great faith in the car, even though we are still getting to know it.’

Crugnola and Ometto finish fifth at Rally Sanremo
Italian drivers Andrea Crugnola and Elia Pietro Ometto took their Gass Racing Polo GTI R5 to fifth place at the 2019 Rally Sanremo and won one special stage overall. The long-running event in the Italian Rally Championship featured 95 miles against the clock, spread over ten special stages. The Polo GTI R5 of Antonio Rusce and Sauro Farnocchia from X Race Sport finished ninth.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Rally Sanremo, Crugnola/Ometto

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09 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTI R5 results round-up: Rusce fourth place at Rally Appennino Reggiano

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, 40th Rally Appennino Reggiano: Rusce/Farnocchia

Italian Polo GTI R5 pilots Antonio Rusce and Sauro Farnocchia finished fourth at the 40th Rally Appennino Reggiano last weekend, missing the bottom step of the podium by just 3.1 seconds. The first round of the 2019 International Rally Cup, the Italian event featured 90 miles of stages.

Rusce and co-driver Farnocchia won one of the ten special stages in the R5 class at the Emilia-Romagna asphalt rally. The duo also finished in the top three eight times. The Rally Piancavallo on 11-12 May is the next round in the International Rally Cup series. Read more at www.ircup.it.

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04 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Lindholm and Korhonen take Polo GTI R5 to second place at Itärally

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Itärally, Lindholm/Korhonen

The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 continued its winning ways at Finland’s Itärally on 2 March. Driver Emil Lindholm and co-driver Mikael Korhonen claimed their second R5 class win in the 2019 Finnish Rally Championship, holding the overall lead for much of the event. The 10th win for the new Volkswagen Motorsport customer sports rally car, the third round of the series was held around Joensuu in east Finland.

The duo lost out to Takamoto Katusta and Daniel Barritt after six stages. The Japanese and Great British pairing finished only 0.8 seconds ahead in their Toyota Yaris WRC. Even though they weren’t victorious, Lindholm was pleased with his and Korhonen’s performance: ‘It was more important for us to get the class win, so I did not want to take any risks on the final few kilometres. There was a lot of snow on the roads and the conditions were extremely difficult.

‘I just wanted to avoid making any mistakes – I think that was the right decision. There is no shame in missing out to a WRC works car by such a small margin,’ he continued.

After three of seven rounds in this season’s Finnish Rally Championship, Lindholm is currently second in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. Victorious in the season-opening Arctic Lapland Rally, Lindholm missed the second event, as he was competing in Rally Sweden. The 2019 Finnish Rally Championship will now take a spring break, resuming with the Riihimäki Rally on 24-25 May.

Polo GTI R5 for Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak

Elsewhere, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak from Poland have committed to running a LOTOS Rally Team-branded Polo GTI R5 in the 2019 WRC 2 category of the World Rally Championship. Kajetanowicz, a 39-year-old, three-time European champion drove a handful of WRC 2 events during 2018, but will contest seven events this year.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak

His and Szczepaniak’s machine will be run by Raimund Baumschlager’s Baumschlager Rallye & Racing (BRR) of Austria, which has also announced a Polo GTI R5 for German rally champion Marijan Griebel. The Polo GTI R5 of Kajetanowicz / Szczepaniak will debut at Corsica Linea – Tour de Corse on 28-31 March; Grebel’s car will first appear a week earlier at the Portuguese Azores Rally on 21-23 March.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Rostek/Christian

In other news, Polo GTI R5 rally machines have also been confirmed for Vojtĕch Štajf (Czech Republic), Dennis Rostek and Frank Christian (Germany, BMA Autosport), Pedro Meireles and Mário Castro, as well as Gustavo Saba and Fernando Mussano (Paraguay) who debuted their car on the 2019 Tierra Colorada Rally at Misiones in Argentina.

All 50 Polo GTI R5 for 2019 have been sold

Volkswagen Motorsport has also confirmed that all 50 Polo GTI R5s the outfit will build in 2019 have been sold. Reported by motor.es, Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets told Rallye-Magazin: ‘We will build about 50 vehicles until the end of the year and they are all reserved. We are also in contact with our customers and we appreciate their comments to improve the car. It was clear that the Polo GTI R5 was very good on dry asphalt, but in wet conditions we can still improve.’




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