Volkswagen Motorsport has been busy preparing for the debut of the Polo R WRC in 2013. It has recently completed a test at the Rally de Espana last weekend. To get some experience in the top category of rally racing, this factory team fielded two Fabia S2000 cars of the Group’s Škoda brand. In the cockpits, we could find German pair Christian Riedemann and Michael Wenzel, and Spaniards Yeray Lemes and co-driver Rogelio Peñate. These two driver duos were able to test their skills professionally in an international event. Lemes and Peñate took fourth place in class and 14th overall.
On the other hand, Riedemann and Wenzel came in eighth in class and 20th overall. Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen said that there’s over 12 months to go before it enters the World Rally Championship. He said that for now, it will join WRC rounds using the vehicles of the Volkswagen Group’s Škoda brand. They also want to familiarize themselves with the WRC in competitive conditions at the same time as its development of the Polo R WRC.
Spanish rally is distinct as the cars have to first run on gravel and then on tarmac. The 47th Rally de Espana has a diverse profile in more than a 406.52-kilometre distance of special stages. Last Friday, the cars raced on gravel sections. But on Saturday and Sunday, the vehicles raced through quick, winding tarmac roads. This is where Yeray Lemes and co-driver Rogelio Penate got their three fastest stage times at their home round. However, a puncture meant that it had to forego a better result.
The team behind the Polo R WRC wanted another title in the FIA World Rally Championship and it seems that a new car with great looks would be perfect for the task. The German automaker has made a clean sweep of the World championship titles when the WRC first debuted in 2013, and then replicated the amazing feat in 2014.
The 2015 lineup wanted to continue that winning streak, with the help of world champions Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Floene who will compete at the Rally Monte Carlo in January 2015.
Volkswagen board member for technical development Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neuber says that the new Polo R WRC has gone through intense redevelopment both in the exterior and the interior. It is more dynamic and sportier while also having more technical innovations under the hood.
The car has improved on the successful package that was first introduced two years earlier. The improvements were focused on performance, reliability and efficiency. Neuber says that they are very excited to see the car race at the Monte Carlo as well as the 12 other rallies than span four continents.
The most obvious and striking modification that you will see on the new Polo R WRC is the exterior. Instead of the old white, you now have a deep dark blue. The dark blue front merges into the white rear with the help of white and light blue stripes. The rear also sports a new wing. You also have the logos for Volkswagen’s partners such as Red Bull, Castrol, Volkswagen Financial Services, Michelin, ZF Sachs, and OMP integrated into the exterior design.