Volkswagen Polo R WRC
|Category||World Rally Car|
|Predecessor||Volkswagen Golf GTI (1983—1988)
Škoda Fabia S2000 (2011—2012)[N 1]
|Chassis||Reinforced body with welded, multi-point roll cage built to FIA specifications|
|Suspension (front)||MacPherson-type struts with ZF Friedrichshafen dampers|
|Suspension (rear)||MacPherson-type struts with ZF Friedrichshafen dampers|
|Length||3,976 mm (156.5 in)|
|Width||1,820 mm (72 in)|
|Height||1,356 mm (53.4 in)|
|Axle track||1,610 mm (63 in)|
|Wheelbase||2,480 mm (98 in)|
|Engine||Custom-built Volkswagen 1.6 L (98 cu in) straight-four engine, turbocharged (with 33 mm (1.3 in) air restrictor), transversally mounted|
|Transmission||Custom-built Volkswagen 6-speed sequential manual transmission, transversally mounted with front and rear multi-plate limited-slip differential|
|Weight||1,200 kg (2,646 lb) before drivers or fuel|
|Fuel||Customised controlled blend specified by FIA for all cars competing under World Rally Car regulations|
|Tyres||Michelin competition tyres:
46 cm (18 in) for tarmac events,
38 cm (15 in) for gravel rallies
|Notable entrants|| Volkswagen Motorsport
Volkswagen Motorsport II
|Notable drivers|| Jari-Matti Latvala
|Debut||81ème Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo|
|Constructors' Championships||2013 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers|
|Drivers' Championships||2013 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers|
The Volkswagen Polo R WRC is a World Rally Car built and operated by Volkswagen Motorsport and based on the Volkswagen Polo for use in the World Rally Championship. The car, which made its debut at the start of the 2013 season, is built to the second generation of World Rally Car regulations that were introduced 2011, which are based upon the existing Super 2000 regulations, but powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine rather than the normally aspirated 2-litre engine found in Super 2000 cars. The Polo R WRC marks Volkswagen's second entry into the World Rally Championship as a manufacturer. Volkswagen Motorsport had previously entered the Volkswagen Golf GTI in rallies between 1983 and 1988 with some success, including six podium finishes and a win at the 19ème Rally Côte d'Ivorie during the 1987 season. The company also made the Volkswagen Golf Mk3 and Mk4 available as a kit car to privateer entries during the Group A era from 1993 to 1997, though its use was mostly limited to national championships.
The car was extremely successful in its debut season, winning ten of the thirteen rallies it contested. Sébastien Ogier won the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, whilst Volkswagen Motorsport secured the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers.
- 1 Competition history
- 2 Use in other series
- 3 Complete World Rally Championship results
- 4 Footnotes
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Polo R WRC was officially unveiled in May 2011, and spent the next eighteen months in testing, with two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, Sébastien Ogier—who was recruited to the team from the Citroën World Rally Team at the end of the 2011 season—and Volkswagen's testing and development driver Dieter Depping carrying out development in Norway, Finland, Germany, Spain and Mexico to simulate the conditions the car would encounter in competition. The testing phase was not without incident; the team signed Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala in October 2012, but his first test in Mexico was cut short when he collided with a passenger car whilst travelling on public roads between stages. No-one was seriously injured in the crash, but the car was too damaged to continue testing. Further testing also took place in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur to prepare the cars for the unique snow and tarmac roads used in the Monte Carlo Rally, the first event of the 2013 season.
The car was originally intended to make its debut at the 2012 Rally d'Italia in Sardegna, but these plans were abandoned in favour of continuing development, and the car was submitted to the FIA in November for homologation. Parallel to this, Volkswagen Motorsport entered two Škoda Fabias built to Super 2000 specifications in twelve rounds of the 2012 season (and a third car in the 2012 Rallye Deutschland) to develop experience in running a World Rally Championship team. As the team was not competing with a World Rally Car, they were ineligible for championship points. The final build of the Polo R WRC was formally launched in December 2012 in Monaco.
Competition debut (2013)
Two cars driven by Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala contested the full 2013 season of the World Rally Championship. Andreas Mikkelsen competed part-time throughout 2013 in a third car that was entered under the name "Volkswagen Motorsport II". Mikkelsen was entered separately to allow him an additional thirty days of testing for the year, rather than having to share the existing test quota for manufacturer teams with Ogier and Latvala.
In its debut season, the car scored four wins in its first six rallies. After finishing second on the Rallye Monte Carlo, Sébastien Ogier went on to win the rallies of Sweden, Mexico, and Portugal. Jari-Matti Latvala scored his first win for Volkswagen in Greece. Following concerns that the cost of moving to a new specification for the 2014 season would drive Ford and Citroën out of the category, Volkswagen successfully lobbied to keep the current car spec for another year. Ogier continued his winning streak with victories in the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, Rally of Finland, and had the opportunity to secure the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers at the Rally Deutschland. However, a mistake on the first leg forced him into retirement, and while he re-entered the following day under the Rally-2 regulations, doing so came with an automatic five-minute time penalty and Ogier finished seventeenth overall. Despite this, Ogier won the rally's power stage, and as a result, would go on to score points in every round of the championship.
Ogier had another opportunity to win the title in Australia, but Qatar World Rally Team driver Thierry Neuville—by this point, the only driver still in mathematical contention for the championship—finished the rally second overall, forcing the title fight to go unresolved until the next round in France. Ogier needed to out-score Neuville by just a single point to be declared the 2013 champion. He achieved on the first stage of the rally, which in a break with tradition, was run as the event's power stage. Ogier went on to win the rally, and finished the season with two more wins in Spain, where a second place finish for team-mate Latvala was enough to secure the Manufacturers' title for Volkswagen, and Wales, where Latvala against finished second.
At the end of the season, the Polo R WRC had won ten of the thirteen rallies it entered, finished on the podium eight more times, and secured both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' championships at the first attempt. In doing so, Ogier and Volkswagen broke Sébastien Loeb and Citroën's streak of nine consecutive World Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship titles respectively.
Title defence (2014)
Development of the car continued through the 2013-2014 off-season, with the team introducing a series of performance updates to the car ahead of the 2014 Rallye Monte Carlo. Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala remained with the team, whilst Andreas Mikkelsen's programme was expanded to include more events.
Ogier overcame difficult conditions in Monte Carlo to open his championship defence with a win, beating French privateer Bryan Bouffier by over a minute. He was denied a full points haul by Latvala, who finished fifth and won the power stage, whilst Mikkelsen inherited seventh when Mikko Hirvonen lost all power on the final stage. Latvala claimed his second victory for Volkswagen in Sweden—and with it, the lead of the World Rally Championship for Drivers—after Ogier lost four minutes on the second day when he made a mistake and hit a snowbank. Mikkelsen scored his first podium at the WRC level with second place. Ogier reclaimed the lead of the drivers' championship with another win in Mexico, ahead of Latvala in second and Thierry Neuville in third.
Use in other series
Marklund Motorsport[N 2]
|Chassis||Volkswagen Polo R WRC body modified to fit Rallycross Supercar regulations|
|Notable entrants|| Marklund Motorsport
VW Dealer Team Sweden
|Notable drivers|| Tanner Foust
|Debut||Pista Automóvel de Montalegre|
World Rallycross Championship
A variation of the Polo R WRC known as the Polo RX was entered by Marklund Motorsport and the VW Dealer Team Sweden in the inaugural season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. The car was also eligible to compete in rounds of the FIA European Rallycross Championship accepting Supercar entries. The car was homologated under World Rally Car regulations and modified to fit the series' Supercar regulations, allowing for a two-litre engine with supercharger and a 45 mm (1.8 in) air restrictor. The radiator was relocated to the rear of the car to cope with the demands of competition. The Citroën DS3 WRC and Hyundai i20 WRC were similarly converted over to World Rallycross regulations owing to their existing homologations as World Rally Cars.
Complete World Rally Championship results
|2013||FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers||Sébastien Ogier||13||9||2||290|
|FIA World Rally Championship for Co-Drivers||Julien Ingrassia||13||9||2||290|
|FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers||Volkswagen Motorsport||26||10||8||450|
- The Škoda Fabia S2000 remained in use throughout the 2013 and 2014 seasons, competing in the World Rally Championship-2 under Group R regulations and in the European Rally Championship under Super 2000 rules.
- The Polo RX is based on the Polo R WRC, which is built by Volkswagen Motorsport to World Rally Car regulations. The car is then modified to fit Rallycross Supercar regulations by teams competing in the World Rallycross Championship.
- World Rally Car
- Citroën DS3 WRC
- Ford Fiesta RS WRC
- Hyundai i20 WRC
- Mini John Cooper Works WRC
- Škoda Fabia S2000
- "Škoda Motorsport in 2013: Esapekka Lappi, WRC-2 and preparations for the future". skoda-auto.com (Škoda Auto). 30 November 2012.
- "Final Entrylist 30. Jännerrallye 2013 ERC". Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Technical specifications". volkswagen-motorsport.com. Volkswagen Motorsport. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Williams, David; Davenport, John; McMaster, Colin (2000) . "Group A: 1987—1997". In Klein, Reinhardt. Rally Cars. Köln: Könemann. p. 420. ISBN 3-8290-4625-1.
- Williams, David; Davenport, John; McMaster, Colin (2000) . "Kit Cars". In Klein, Reinhardt. Rally Cars. Köln: Könemann. p. 529. ISBN 3-8290-4625-1.
- "Sordo's stage win seals Ogier's title". WRC.com. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "Capito's Delight after Title Double". WRC.com (WRC Promoter GmbH). Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "The Making Of — the development and the test programme of the Polo R WRC". volkswagen-motorposrt.com. Volkswagen Motorsport. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Evans, David (17 October 2012). "Volkswagen confirms Latvala for 2013". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- Evans, David (30 November 2012). "Jari-Matti Latvala road accident halts Volkswagen's Mexico WRC test". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Essais Prés-Monte Carlo 2013 Polo WRC Sébastien Ogier" [Sébastien Ogier tests the Polo WRC for the 2013 Monte Carlo Rally]. Global Rally Chain (in French). YouTube. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Evans, David (28 September 2012). "Rally GB to conclude the 2013 WRC season". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Evans, David (12 July 2012). "WRC Polo set for Rally d'Italia debut". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Evans, David (8 December 2012). "VW targets podium in first WRC year". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Weeks, James (23 November 2011). "Ogier joins Volkswagen WRC programme". motorstv.com (Motors TV). Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Evans, David (8 December 2012). "Mikkelsen confirmed for third VW". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Evans, David (19 January 2013). "Monte Carlo Rally: Loeb wins as final stages cancelled". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Ogier brings first WRC win for VW at Rally Sweden". Speedcafe.com. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "Ogier secures Mexico victory". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 11 March 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- "Ogier wraps up third straight win". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 14 April 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "Latvala seals first VW win in Greece". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- Burrows, Gus (20 June 2013). "Volkswagen halt 2014 development to ensure WRC future". SpeedCafe.com. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- Evand, David (22 June 2013). "Ogier claims fourth victory of 2013". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- Beer, Matt (3 August 2013). "WRC Finland: Ogier claims comfortable win, Neuville snatches second". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Germany WRC: Sebastien Ogier loses lead after Friday off". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publiactions). 23 August 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Germany WRC: Dani Sordo beats Thierry Neuville to first victory". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 25 August 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Beer, Matt (15 September 2013). "WRC Australia: Sebastien Ogier wins but must wait for title". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "WRC Spain: Ogier takes dramatic victory after comeback". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 27 October 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Capito's Delight after Title Double". WRC.com (WRC Promoter GmbH). Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Anderson, Ben (17 November 2013). "Rally GB: Sebastien Ogier ends VW's dominant year with victory". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Volkswagen ready for battle". WRC.com. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Jari-Matti Latvala not expecting to be Sebastien Ogier's number two". David Evans. Autosport.com. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "Rallye Monte Carlo 2014 Entry List". ACM.mc. Automobile Club Monte Carlo. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- "2014 Rally Sweden Entry List". rallysweden.com. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Monte Carlo Day Three Update #4". WRC.com. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Evans, David (8 February 2014). "Jari-Matti Latvala clinches win in VW one-two". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Mitchell, Scott (9 March 2014). "Rally Mexico: Sebastien Ogier wins in dominant Volkswagen 1-2". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Ridge, Hal (20 February 2014). "Volkswagen enters World Rallycross Championship with Marklund". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "VW Dealer Team Sweden plan World RX future". rallycrossrx.com. IMG Motorsport. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
- "Article 279 — 2012: Règlement Technique pour Voitures de Rallycross et d'Autocross" [Technical Regulations for Rallycross and Autocross Cars] (in French). FIA. 28 September 2012.
- Ridge, Hal (20 January 2014). "Toomas Heikkinen joins Marklund for 2014 World Rallycross". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publication). Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "Petter Solberg's Citroën DS3 Supercar". pettersolberg.com. Petter Solberg.
- Ridge, Hal (1 February 2014). "Frode Holte unveils Hyundai i20 for World Rallycross". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 10 February 2014.
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