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Volkswagen Wins WRC Manufacturer Title

First ever for a manufacturer's premier season in World Rally Championship

Toni Avery
Oct 28, 2013

    Volkswagen WRC Title Details:
  • One-two at Rally Spain finish makes the manufacturer title win possible
  • Only one round left in the season
  • VW wins Drivers and Co Drivers Championship and the Manufacturers' trophy
  • First manufacturer to win a World Championship in its first year of WRC

Volkswagen has won the manufacturers' title in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) thanks to a one-two victory at the Rally Spain. Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) claimed the Drivers and Co- Drivers title at the Rally France and went on to win at the Rally Spain ahead of teammates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN). With only one round left to go this season, Volkswagen has attained a strong lead in the Manufacturers' Championship.

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In their premier season, VW has won all of the titles in the top category: the Drivers and Co Drivers Championship and the Manufacturers' trophy. No other manufacturer has managed to win a World Championship in their first year in WRC.

Through poor visibility and a punctured tire for one team, Ogier/Ingrassia put in best times on four of the six Special Stages on Sunday alone plus two more top-three times. On the final day two, Ogier experienced a puncture but Ogier/Ingrassia were able to gain 20sec on their direct competitors even through poor visibility.

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While Rally Spain was the only round of the season to cover both asphalt and gravel, the VW Polo R WRC team pulled through achieving: 13 of the 15 best stage times and 26 of 45 possible top-three times.

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7: "I'm absolutely delighted for the team. Volkswagen more than deserved to win the World Championship title this year. The Polo R WRC is a real World Champion car. Even though we had a few technical problems at the end today, it got us over the finishing line again and we won the very first one-two victory in the WRC with the team. I would've liked to have fought with Sébastien Ogier for victory in the round right to the bitter end because we had a fair duel without tactical instructions until just before the finish. I'm still pleased with second place. It gives me confidence ahead of the forthcoming Rally GB in Wales, which is definitely one of my favorite rallies. I can hardly wait to tackle it."

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Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8: "What an incredible rally, and what a fantastic season! Our team really deserved the World Championship title. I'm incredibly proud to be part of the Volkswagen team. And of course I'm ecstatic that Julien and I managed to secure the win here in Spain. I promised beforehand that I would try everything - and it worked. It has to be said that it was extremely difficult early this morning though. Driving through the dust thrown up by the cars in front was like being in the thickest of fog - zero visibility. At times, we had to slow down in the middle of full-speed stretches because we couldn't see anything at all. We made a strong comeback in France and left as World Champions. Now we've managed to play catch-up big style in Spain - and we're World Champions again!"

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Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9: "Volkswagen is World Champion! I'm so pleased for the team - they've just been great this season. It's just a fantastic bunch of people. I wanted to give them something back today too and tried to perform as well as possible. I felt comfortable in the Polo R WRC right from the start this morning and adjusted to gravel really quickly. Starting so far back certainly wasn't a disadvantage, but all that dust was. But we did a good job during the recce and I had a lot of confidence in the pace notes. Seeing your own name right at the top of the list of times twice is great, of course. On the third stage of the day, I slid off the road after a long right-hand bend that went into a sharp left-hand turn. This afternoon, I wanted to go on the attack again, but I hit something on the straight. After that, the steering wheel was wonky. Later on, the suspension got damaged too, which is why we couldn't take part in the last Special Stage. Nevertheless, I'm not dissatisfied with the Rally Spain."

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Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director: "Winning all three World Championship titles in one season is simply unbelievable. Given that this is the first season we have competed in the World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC, it is an even greater achievement. Winning the Drivers' and Co- Drivers' World Championship was an absolute highlight for the whole team. It was a dream come true for Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia in particular at their home event three weeks ago. But the Manufacturers' World Championship is even more important for a car maker because it proves that it's not just the driver who's exceptional - the product is too."

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By Toni Avery
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