FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC 2016): DRIFT ANGLE RECALIBRATED – VOLKSWAGEN DRIVERS LEAD THE WAY ON THE MEXICAN GRAVEL IN THE SHAKEDOWN
WRC A FULL 2016
Drift angle recalibrated – Volkswagen drivers lead the way on the Mexican gravel in the Shakedown.
First outing of season on gravel: Shakedown in central Mexico
Mikkelsen/Jæger fastest in “free practice” ahead of Rally Mexico
Ogier/Ingrassia third, Latvala/Anttila fourth
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
Wolfsburg (03 March 2016). The first outing of 2016 on gravel – and a successful one: Volkswagen started the Rally Mexico with good times in the Shakedown. Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) were not only the busiest in the “free practice”, with seven trial runs in the Polo R WRC, but also the fastest. The pair currently second in the overall standings went fastest of all on their final attempt at the 5.55-kilometre “Llano Grando” stage. The remaining two Volkswagen duos also impressed in their final preparations for round three of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) with three runs and the third fastest time, while Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) were fourth quickest after their three runs.
This evening, the competitors can look forward to an emotional start to the Rally Mexico in the former silver mining city of Guanajuato, with its spectacular tunnels and thousands of passionate fans. The three short opening stages total just 5.69 kilometres. Friday morning features the classic “El Chocolate” stage, which is both challenging and of greater significance to the outcome of the rally.
Quotes after the Shakedown at the Rally Mexico
Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“The Shakedown ran smoothly for Julien and me. The Polo feels perfect, the special stages are in great condition, and we are as well-prepared as possible. As far as I am concerned, I am ready to get going. The atmosphere at the ceremonial start in Guanajuato will be a spine-tingling experience, as it always is. I am sure it will be even more emotional for us this time, as we are making our 100th appearance in the World Rally Championship. It is particularly nice to reach this milestone here in Mexico, where my career began in the Junior WRC in 2008.”
Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“I am really happy, as the Shakedown went very positively for us. Right from the word go the set-up of the Polo R WRC felt good, and we were able to work through our programme as planned. The fewer runs you complete, the less dirt you pick up – which is something the mechanics are also grateful for. But joking aside: I am now really looking forward to the emotional start and the atmosphere in Guanajuato, which is always awesome.”
Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“The plan for today was to adapt to the high altitude and the gravel. Right from the start we had planned to do a lot of runs, in order to find our feet as well as possible. We did just that. Last year I was not entirely happy with our pace on this stage – but today it all went as hoped. We are looking forward to the Rally Mexico.”
Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“The Shakedown at the Rally Mexico is a bit different to those at other gravel rallies. It is the first chance of the new rally season to compare the drivers, co-drivers and teams on this surface. We did a good job of adapting to the gravel. The times are certainly very good. However, we are well aware that it will be tough for us on Friday and Saturday, when we must open the route. Nonetheless, all three Volkswagen drivers have grand plans. As usual, we will give them the same opportunities and let them do battle – preferably for victory – without any team orders. If we are going to win, it is going to take an absolutely flawless performance.”
Media Volkswagen Red Bull Motorsport
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