Sebastien Ogier signed as the first official Volkswagen driver for the WRC

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 24, 2011

Sébastien Ogier is now officially serving as the Volkswagen driver for the FIA World Rally Championship effective immediately. He is joining the Volkswagen Motorsport squad together with his co-driver Julien Ingrassia. Ogier got third place in the WRC this year. He will be involved in helping to shape the development of the Polo R WRC for the 2013 entry of Volkswagen in the WRC.

Ogier commented that Volkswagen is "the number one in Europe and will soon be number one in the world." He added that he's sure that the company is going to compete with the aim of "clinching the WRC title," adding that he is "happy to be part of this from the outset." Co-driver Ingrassia also expressed confidence, stating that they are looking forward to a team with a "fighting spirit and the determination to win. Anything’s possible!"

Volkswagen introduced the second generation of its Polo R WRC in Autostadt, Wolfsburg. The Wolfsburg team has set its eyes firmly on defending its titles in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a new car carrying a new look. The German automaker bagged the World Championship titles when it debuted the Polo R WRC in 2013. Volkswagen repeated this winning streak last season. And for the company, continuity is the key to its line-up for 2015. Volkswagen has double world champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (F/F) and partners Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene (N/N) on its team to roll down the starting ramp and compete at the legendary Rally Monte Carlo on January 22, 2015.

According to Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development, the new Polo R WRC has undertaken additional developments, for the interior and exterior. He explains that not only is the new car more dynamic and sportier than before, but the company’s engineers have also worked on adding more technological advancements and have enhanced several features of the Polo R WRC after being successful for the past two years.

Dr. Neußer also relates that the focus of the car’s further development was on its performance, efficiency, and reliability. He also expressed how excited he is for the new Volkswagen Polo R WRC to be seen in Monte Carlo and at the other 12 rallies spread out in four continents.

Defending its title in blue and white

The new Polo R WRC showcases its most striking change in terms of its exterior. What used to be the white portion is now dark-blue, and light blue and white stripes see the car’s dark-blue front merge into its white rear, which boasts an imposing new rear wing. Additionally, Volkswagen's other partners in the World Rally Championship – Volkswagen Financial Services, Red Bull, lubricant partner Castrol, tyre partner Michelin, supplier OMP, and chassis and clutch specialist ZF Sachs – are also integrated into the new design.

‘I am very happy about Sébastian Ogier and Julien Ingrassia joining us,’ says Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management for the Development Division. ‘Both of them are important pieces of the puzzle on our way towards building a successful team in the World Rally Championship. It is also a mark of confidence for our team if such a strong pairing opts for a new team in the WRC that is still in the process of being developed.’ Motorsport Director Kris Nissen adds: “We are proud that such a successful and quick duo as Sébastian Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia have decided to join Volkswagen. The aim of putting a competitive Polo R WRC on the road for them as quickly as possible will additionally drive our team. We look forward to working with them and are hoping for many victories and titles in the future.’

Topics: vw, wrc

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