Motorsport Champions, champions, champions, champions*!
Volkswagen claims the WRC manufacturers’ title* for the fourth time in succession!
Wolfsburg (30 October 2016). 12 titles in four years - four Drivers’, four Co-Drivers’ and four Manufacturers’ titles: Volkswagen put the icing on the cake at the end of an impressive season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with victory at the Rally Great Britain in Wales. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) won round 12 of 13 with the Polo R WRC. This latest victory gives Volkswagen an unassailable lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Ogier/Ingrassia ensured the Wolfsburg-based carmaker claimed its fourth Manufacturers’ title since 2013 with the French pair’s sixth win of the season, their fourth in a row. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) have both won one race so far this year. Volkswagen joins rival Citroën as only the second manufacturer in the history of the World Rally Championship to win all three world titles four years in a row.
“A great success for Volkswagen,” said a delighted Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for "Development", who received the Manufacturers’ trophy for the victory in Wales. “The Polo R WRC and the Volkswagen Motorsport team have made motorsport history with their fourth title in a row. Given the strength of the opposition, this success has only been possible with a committed team effort, with every single member giving his best for the course. Congratulations and thank you to the whole team.”
Ogier/Ingrassia claim fourth WRC title in a row with Volkswagen
Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) were crowned World Rally Champions for the fourth time in a row after taking victory at the Rally Spain. They guided their Volkswagen Polo R WRC to a fifth win of the season in Catalonia, finishing ahead of Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E, Hyundai) und Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B, Hyundai). Their ninth podium in eleven races triggered wild celebrations. The Frenchmen can no longer be caught at the top of the overall standings in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) went into the Rally Spain as their closest rivals in the title race, but the Norwegians’ hopes of winning the championship were dashed when they were forced to retire from the rally. Eighth place in the Manufacturers’ classifications for Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) means Volkswagen is well-placed to claim its fourth Manufacturers’ title in a row next time out at the Rally Great Britain.
Read the full article here.
You can also visit our Volkswagen UK YouTube channel to view the highlights from previous rallies.
*Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.
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Austrian Rally Championship
Baumschlager to drive the Polo R WRC
The world championship-winning car is back: the Volkswagen Polo R WRC will return to action at the Wechselland Rally (28/29 April), which forms part of the Austrian Rally Championship. Raimund Baumschlager (A), competing for the Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team, will be the first private driver in the world to drive the successful car from Wolfsburg, with which Sébastien Ogier (F) claimed his fourth title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) last season.
“I am incredibly proud to be allowed to drive the Polo R WRC. It is a great honour for me, and I can hardly put my excitement into words,” said Baumschlager, who will have co-driver Pirmin Winklhofer (A) at his side.
As a customer, Baumschlager will receive support from Volkswagen Motorsport at his outings in the Polo R WRC. For example, engineer Gerard-Jan de Jongh, who was part of world champion Ogier’s successful crew during his time at Volkswagen, will assist Baumschlager.
FIA World Rallycross Championship
First podium and overall lead for PSRX Volkswagen Team
Johan Kristoffersson (S) earned the first podium finish of the season for PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden at round two of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Montalegre (P). The Swede, at the wheel of the Volkswagen Polo GTI Supercar, finished third in the final behind Mattias Ekström (S, Audi) and Sébastien Loeb (F, Peugeot).
Twenty-four hours earlier, Kristoffersson had caught the eye with the fastest time of the day. He is now second in the Drivers’ Championship. Team-mate Petter Solberg (N), also in a Volkswagen Polo GTI Supercar, qualified for the final as the fastest man in the preliminary rounds. However, he was hampered in the final itself by a puncture. Solberg did, however, manage to score valuable points in the Drivers’ Championship and currently ranks third behind Kristoffersson.
The PSRX Volkswagen Team tops the team standings after two events. The third weekend of the World Rallycross Championship will take place from 5 to 7 May in Hockenheim (D).
Another podium for Kusiri: Two Golf GTI TCRs top the standings
Kantadhee Kusiri (T) presented LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler with another podium in the TCR Asia series. Starting race one from fourth on the grid, Kusiri produced an impressive display in the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR to fight his way into second place at the Zhuhai International Circuit (CHN).
Team-mate Diego Moran (EC) also put together a fantastic fightback, climbing six positions to finish fourth. Kusiri then came home fourth in race two. Moran finished eighth and now leads the Drivers’ Championship after the second race weekend, followed in second place by Kusiri. Team Engstler also leads the way in the team competition.
The teams and drivers return to Zhuhai in just three weeks, when the circuit hosts races five and six of TCR Asia.
Five podiums for the Golf GTI TCR
Successful start to the season for the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR at Spa-Francorchamps (B): Volkswagen left the opening race weekend of TCR Benelux with five podium finishes to its name. Jean-Karl Vernay (F) got the ball rolling with third place in race one. The Frenchman, driving for Volkswagen customer team WRT, went one better in the following race, crossing the finish line as runner-up.
Rob Huff (GB) took over in the driving seat of the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for races three and four, and continued the fine form shown by his WRT team-mate: the Brit finished third in both the remaining races. Maxime Potty (B), also in a Golf GTI TCR, also had cause for celebration in the final race. Second place rounded off a successful start to the season for the 350-hp touring car from Wolfsburg.
The second race weekend in TCR Benelux takes place on 20 and 21 May in Zandvoort (NL).
Engen Volkswagen Cup South Africa
Replacement Thompson dominates in Kyalami
Double success for Lee Thompson (ZA): the Volkswagen Polo driver from the Pepper Racing Team dominated both races in Kyalami (ZA) at the second race weekend of the Engen Volkswagen Cup South Africa. Thompson won the opening race, ahead of Devin Robertson (ZA) and Clinton Bezuidenhout (ZA). Thompson was unbeatable once again in race two. The South African led Dewald Brummer (ZA) and Juan Gerber (ZA) home. Shaun La Reservee (ZA), who won race one at the opening round of the season, did not start in Kyalami, with Thompson stepping in to take his place.
Global Touring Cars South Africa
Golf GTI remains undefeated in its class
Four races, four wins: the Golf GTI remains undefeated in the GTC 2 class of Global Touring Cars South Africa. As at the season opener at the Killarney Raceway (ZA), it was Keagan Masters (ZA) who took victory in race one. And it was another Volkswagen driver on the top step of the podium after race two: Mandla Mdakane (ZA) produced an impressive display to claim his maiden win in the GTC 2 class. Meanwhile, Mathew Hodges and Daniel Rowe (both ZA) put on quite a show in the GTC class. The two Volkswagen Jetta drivers were embroiled in a thrilling battle over several laps in race one, with Hodges eventually coming home fourth, ahead of Rowe in fifth. Hodges went on to finish runner-up in the second and final race of the weekend. The third round of Global Touring Cars South Africa takes place at the Prince George Circuit in East London (ZA) on 20 May.
Japanese Formula 3 Championship
Perfect weekend: Takaboshi bags a brace in Suzuka
The winning streak continues: Mitsunori Takaboshi (J) was in dominant form again at the second race weekend of this year’s Japanese Formula 3 Championship. The driver from Volkswagen customer team B-MAX Racing won both races in Suzuka (J) and remains the man to beat in the series for young drivers. The Japanese had previously won two of the three races at the opening event of the season in Okayama (J). The next race weekend takes place from 12 to 14 May in Fuji (J).