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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 18 AÑOS

LUKYANUK LANDS THE BIG PRIZE WITH AZORES ERC WIN THE ARGENTINE DRIVER ALONSO TRIUMPHS IN ERC2

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ERC A FULL 2018

LUKYANUK LANDS THE BIG PRIZE WITH AZORES ERC WIN
THE ARGENTINE DRIVER ALONSO TRIUMPHS IN ERC2.

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LUKYANUK LANDS THE BIG PRIZE WITH AZORES ERC WIN

*Home heroes Moura and Magalhães second and third on season opener
*Ingram wins ERC Junior U28 on R5 debut as young stars shine
*Portugal’s Gago claims ERC Junior U27 glory, Alonso triumphs in ERC2

Alexey Lukyanuk laid down an emphatic marker for his ERC rivals to aim for, leading the Azores Airlines Rallye from Thursday afternoon all the way through to Saturday’s final stage, and capping his wining start to this year’s FIA European Rally Championship with donuts before the finish line.

Portuguese drivers Ricardo Moura and Bruno Magalhães gave their all, but had no answer for Lukyanuk’s rapid pace, while while fellow Pirelli-equipped Chris Ingram was one of a number of ERC Junior Under 28 stars to excel on the demanding gravel spectacular with a class win on his step up to R5 as the ERC Junior Under 27 champion.

Martin Koči had been leading ERC Junior U28 up until the penultimate stage on his Azores debut but the ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport driver would retire six kilometres from the start of the final run, ripping off the front-left wheel of his Fabia R5.

Diogo Gago secured the Pirelli-supported ERC Junior Under 27 laurels on his home event, beating Rally Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena to first place. Llarena started the closing Tronqueira test – one of several broadcast live on RTP in the Azores, Portugal and beyond – in third place but took advantage when ADAC Opel Junior Rallye Team factory driver Mārtiņš Sesks was delayed by gearbox issues.

Juan Carlos Alonso mounted an incredible comeback to win ERC2, recovering from a broken fuel pump on Thursday to make up three minutes and beat Sergei Remennik to victory after the Russian lost time with a time-consuming spin in Tronqueira on Saturday morning.

Leg two recap: Lukyanuk opens his ERC 2018 account with victory
Holding a 21.8s lead over 10-time Azorean champion Ricardo Moura, Lukyanuk found a way to drive around brake issues caused by a leaking caliper to win Saturday morning’s two long stages, nearly doubling his lead ahead of second placed Moura to 37.8s.

Moura went all out attack in his attempts to reel in the rapidly escaping Lukyanuk, but his push went slightly too far when he clobbered a bank and spun his Fabia R5 on the first run through Tronqueira. Behind, Bruno Magalhães started the day in third and within touching distance of the leading pair, but a broken rear differential cost him more than half a minute and ruined his chances of a second successive victory on home soil by midday service in São Miguel’s capital Ponta Delgada.

Lukyanuk took a steady approach to the final loop of stages, conserving his Pirelli tyres and trying not to make any mistakes. Moura’s pace faded somewhat in the afternoon, dropping to 47.9 seconds off first place before leg two’s final stage.

Russian Performance Motorsport’s lead driver then set hearts racing with only a few hundred metres of Tronqueira’s second pass remaining, Lukyanuk pulling wide to celebrate his impending victory with donuts. His showmanship cost some 30 seconds, but with nearly one minute in hand, entertaining the thousands of fans made no difference to the standings, sealing victory by 16.4s alongside co-driver Alexey Arnautov.

“I was so happy that I made some donuts before the end. Thanks to my team, my sponsors, they all did really great job. We tried to do our best to be clever and it worked,” said Lukyanuk.

Despite selecting what he described as the ‘wrong’ tyre compound, Magalhães pressed on and closed in on Moura ahead, but came 9.3s short of stealing second place away by the finish.

Portuguese champion Carlos Vieira and former Azores winner Bernardo Sousa lost their chances of top five finishes after separate accidents on Saturday’s opening stage. Vieira bent his Hyundai i20 R5’s right-rear suspension and losing four minutes. Contact with a bank sent Sousa’s oil temperatures soaring and forcing him to retire.

SS11 was delayed by Frank Tore Larsen crashing his Ford Fiesta R5 into a tree, blocking the stage and forcing his retirement. Hubert Ptaszek contributed to the final stage drama by crashing into a farm building, a mix-up caused by an incorrect pacenote. Chris Ingram, Sweden’s Fredrik Åhlin, Mol Racing Team’s Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig, Łukasz Habaj from Poland, Briton Rhys Yates, Ricardo Teodósio and fellow Portuguese José Pedro Fontes completed the top 10.

Luis Rego took a fine P11, one place ahead of ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland’s Fabian Kreim. Italian Tamara Molinaro won the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in P14 on her second outing in an R5 car. Brazilian Paulo Nobre took P18 on his international rallying return. Portugal’s Aloísio Monteiro was P22 at the start of his ERC adventure in an R5 car.

ERC Junior Under 28: Ingram shines with debut victory
Chris Ingram capped his FIA European Rally Championship four-wheel-drive debut with a first ERC Junior U28 class victory, retaking the lead on Saturday’s penultimate test from Martin Koči, who would crash out of second place on the closing stage.

Ingram, who follows Marijan Griebel by winning on his ERC Junior U28 debut as ERC Junior U27 champion, had extended his lead to 15.8s after Saturday’s opener, but a puncture through Tronqueira’s first pass sent him straight back into Koči’s clutches. Reigning ERC Junior U27 champion Ingram then went into tyre-saving mode through SS13, ceding first place to Koči. Ingram replied immediately through SS14, regaining the lead and setting up an epic showdown with a slim 4.7s advantage over Koči, whose fantastic efforts came to a hugely frustrating end when he ripped the front-left wheel from his ŠKODA Slovakia Fabia R5 and retired.

“It was my mistake,” said said Koči. “I touched too much in one corner and it ripped the wheel off. I’m sorry for my team, my sponsors, the fans and my family and I’m sad for me.”

Ingram added: “He put so much pressure on us so big respect to Martin. It’s a dream debut for me but I’m gutted not to be on the overall podium. It’s been awesome, I’m learning the car still and I work so hard to do this. I’m really proud for that.”

Fredrik Åhlin inherited second place, a sensible and straightforward approach to his final day wrapping up an ERC Under 28 podium on his Azores debut. Likewise, his CA1 Sport team-mate Rhys Yates scored his first ERC Under 28 podium with third place.

Taking a deliberately cautious approach to preserve points for his Azorean championship campaign, Luis Rego finished fourth, while an impressive Fabian Kreim set the fastest time of anyone in SS13, even beating Russian Rocket Lukyanuk and last year’s winner Bruno Magalhães on his way to fifth in class. Tamara Molinaro was extremely unlucky to pick up punctures on both passes of Tronqueira, but her perseverance was rewarded with sixth place. Behind her were Tomasz Kasperczyk, Laurent Pellier and Pierre-Louis Loubet securing positions seven through to nine respectively. OSCARO-backed Loubet, who like PEUGEOT Rally Academy’s Pellier showed glimpses of what might have been, setting a trio of overall top five stage times on leg two’s afternoon loop. Hubert Ptaszek crashed his ŠKODA Fabia R5 into a farm building on the final stage and got stuck for 20 minutes.

ERC Junior Under 27: Gago streaks clear for Azores win
Diogo Gago put his local knowledge to great use, further extending a 40s lead from Friday to secure FIA ERC Junior U27 victory by over a minute aboard his PEUGEOT 208 R2.

Mārtiņš Sesks had been dueling with Gago for victory on Friday, but come Saturday he was instead looking backwards, fending off Efrén Llarena who had suffered a puncture and lost one minute the day before. A gearbox problem would settle their battle, Sesks losing first and second gear late on during Tronqueira’s rally-ending test and dropping him behind an ecstatic Llarena. “Many thanks to the whole team, to this project of the Rally Team Spain, to the sponsors and to all the fans who from home, and some from here too, have supported us and followed every kilometre. This second place is yours too!” said Llarena.

Gago said: “We did it and I’m so happy with this victory. We work really hard to win here. I’m proud of my team, my sponsors and my co-driver.”

Simon Wagner looked all set to pick up fourth place, but myriad of technical gremlins ground his car to a halt shortly after leg two’s penultimate stage. Powersteering failure coupled with a loose gear level made finishing SS14 difficult, before a broken engine and gearbox mountings sidelined Wagner with 22 competitive kilometres left. Dominik Brož moved up to fourth place as a consequence, as Wagner’s Saintéloc Junior team-mate Catie Munnings took fifth. Mattia Vita retired when his front-left wheel nuts failed on Friday’s first visit to Sete Cidades, but returned on Saturday to claim sixth.

ERC2: Charging Alonso on top
Juan Carlos Alonso turned a 2m53.6s deficit on Thursday evening into ERC2 victory on Saturday, catching and passing all his rivals in a sensational recovery drive. Alonso had been set back by a fuel pump failure on Thursday’s superspecial, but had already climbed to second place and one minute behind ERC2 leader Seregi Remennik by Friday night. Fifteen seconds had already been made up by Alonso in leg two’s opening test, but a spin into a pair of rocks by Remennik expedited Alonso’s charge up the order, giving him a lead he would not relinquish. Luís Pimentel finished third with Menderes Okur fourth. Zelindo Melegari crashed on SS13 after losing time this morning with a broken turbo. Tibor Érdi Jr retired on Thursday with broken suspension.

PROVISIONAL TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 15 stages, 207.30 kilometres)
1 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5 2h33m51.7a
2 Ricardo Moura (ITA)/Antonío Costa (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +16.4s
3 Bruno Magalhães (PRT)/Hugo Magalhães (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +25.7s
4 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m24.2s
5 Fredrik Åhlin (SWE)/Joakim Sjöberg (SWE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +2m33.1s
6 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferencz (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m02.9s
7 Łukasz Habaj (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) Ford Fiesta R5 +4m12.2s
8 Rhys Yates (GBR)/Elliott Edmondson (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m15.7s
9 Ricardo Teodósio (PRT)/José Teixeira (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m43.0s
10 José Pedro Fontes (PRT)/Paulo Babo (PRT) Citroën DS3 R5 +5m01.2s

FIA ERC2: Juan Carlos Alonso (ARG)/Juan Pablo Monasterolo (ARG) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
FIA ERC3: Diogo Gago (PRT)/Miguel Ramalho (PRT) PEUGEOT 208 R2
FIA ERC Junior Under 28: Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5
FIA ERC Junior Under 27: Diogo Gago (PRT)/Miguel Ramalho (PRT) PEUGEOT 208 R2
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Tamara Molinaro (ITA)

RALLY LEADERS
SS1: Dávid Botka
SS2-15: Alexey Lukyanuk

FIA ERC FIA ERC FIA ERC

24 MARCH 2018
LUKYANUK LANDS THE BIG PRIZE WITH AZORES ERC WIN

*Home heroes Moura and Magalhães second and third on season opener
*Ingram wins ERC Junior U28 on R5 debut as young stars shine
*Portugal’s Gago claims ERC Junior U27 glory, Alonso triumphs in ERC2

Alexey Lukyanuk laid down an emphatic marker for his ERC rivals to aim for, leading the Azores Airlines Rallye from Thursday afternoon all the way through to Saturday’s final stage, and capping his wining start to this year’s FIA European Rally Championship with donuts before the finish line.

Portuguese drivers Ricardo Moura and Bruno Magalhães gave their all, but had no answer for Lukyanuk’s rapid pace, while while fellow Pirelli-equipped Chris Ingram was one of a number of ERC Junior Under 28 stars to excel on the demanding gravel spectacular with a class win on his step up to R5 as the ERC Junior Under 27 champion.

Martin Koči had been leading ERC Junior U28 up until the penultimate stage on his Azores debut but the ŠKODA Slovakia Motorsport driver would retire six kilometres from the start of the final run, ripping off the front-left wheel of his Fabia R5.

Diogo Gago secured the Pirelli-supported ERC Junior Under 27 laurels on his home event, beating Rally Team Spain’s Efrén Llarena to first place. Llarena started the closing Tronqueira test – one of several broadcast live on RTP in the Azores, Portugal and beyond – in third place but took advantage when ADAC Opel Junior Rallye Team factory driver Mārtiņš Sesks was delayed by gearbox issues.

Juan Carlos Alonso mounted an incredible comeback to win ERC2, recovering from a broken fuel pump on Thursday to make up three minutes and beat Sergei Remennik to victory after the Russian lost time with a time-consuming spin in Tronqueira on Saturday morning.

Leg two recap: Lukyanuk opens his ERC 2018 account with victory
Holding a 21.8s lead over 10-time Azorean champion Ricardo Moura, Lukyanuk found a way to drive around brake issues caused by a leaking caliper to win Saturday morning’s two long stages, nearly doubling his lead ahead of second placed Moura to 37.8s.

Moura went all out attack in his attempts to reel in the rapidly escaping Lukyanuk, but his push went slightly too far when he clobbered a bank and spun his Fabia R5 on the first run through Tronqueira. Behind, Bruno Magalhães started the day in third and within touching distance of the leading pair, but a broken rear differential cost him more than half a minute and ruined his chances of a second successive victory on home soil by midday service in São Miguel’s capital Ponta Delgada.

Lukyanuk took a steady approach to the final loop of stages, conserving his Pirelli tyres and trying not to make any mistakes. Moura’s pace faded somewhat in the afternoon, dropping to 47.9 seconds off first place before leg two’s final stage.

Russian Performance Motorsport’s lead driver then set hearts racing with only a few hundred metres of Tronqueira’s second pass remaining, Lukyanuk pulling wide to celebrate his impending victory with donuts. His showmanship cost some 30 seconds, but with nearly one minute in hand, entertaining the thousands of fans made no difference to the standings, sealing victory by 16.4s alongside co-driver Alexey Arnautov.

“I was so happy that I made some donuts before the end. Thanks to my team, my sponsors, they all did really great job. We tried to do our best to be clever and it worked,” said Lukyanuk.

Despite selecting what he described as the ‘wrong’ tyre compound, Magalhães pressed on and closed in on Moura ahead, but came 9.3s short of stealing second place away by the finish.

Portuguese champion Carlos Vieira and former Azores winner Bernardo Sousa lost their chances of top five finishes after separate accidents on Saturday’s opening stage. Vieira bent his Hyundai i20 R5’s right-rear suspension and losing four minutes. Contact with a bank sent Sousa’s oil temperatures soaring and forcing him to retire.

SS11 was delayed by Frank Tore Larsen crashing his Ford Fiesta R5 into a tree, blocking the stage and forcing his retirement. Hubert Ptaszek contributed to the final stage drama by crashing into a farm building, a mix-up caused by an incorrect pacenote. Chris Ingram, Sweden’s Fredrik Åhlin, Mol Racing Team’s Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig, Łukasz Habaj from Poland, Briton Rhys Yates, Ricardo Teodósio and fellow Portuguese José Pedro Fontes completed the top 10.

Luis Rego took a fine P11, one place ahead of ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland’s Fabian Kreim. Italian Tamara Molinaro won the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in P14 on her second outing in an R5 car. Brazilian Paulo Nobre took P18 on his international rallying return. Portugal’s Aloísio Monteiro was P22 at the start of his ERC adventure in an R5 car.

ERC Junior Under 28: Ingram shines with debut victory
Chris Ingram capped his FIA European Rally Championship four-wheel-drive debut with a first ERC Junior U28 class victory, retaking the lead on Saturday’s penultimate test from Martin Koči, who would crash out of second place on the closing stage.

Ingram, who follows Marijan Griebel by winning on his ERC Junior U28 debut as ERC Junior U27 champion, had extended his lead to 15.8s after Saturday’s opener, but a puncture through Tronqueira’s first pass sent him straight back into Koči’s clutches. Reigning ERC Junior U27 champion Ingram then went into tyre-saving mode through SS13, ceding first place to Koči. Ingram replied immediately through SS14, regaining the lead and setting up an epic showdown with a slim 4.7s advantage over Koči, whose fantastic efforts came to a hugely frustrating end when he ripped the front-left wheel from his ŠKODA Slovakia Fabia R5 and retired.

“It was my mistake,” said said Koči. “I touched too much in one corner and it ripped the wheel off. I’m sorry for my team, my sponsors, the fans and my family and I’m sad for me.”

Ingram added: “He put so much pressure on us so big respect to Martin. It’s a dream debut for me but I’m gutted not to be on the overall podium. It’s been awesome, I’m learning the car still and I work so hard to do this. I’m really proud for that.”

Fredrik Åhlin inherited second place, a sensible and straightforward approach to his final day wrapping up an ERC Under 28 podium on his Azores debut. Likewise, his CA1 Sport team-mate Rhys Yates scored his first ERC Under 28 podium with third place.

Taking a deliberately cautious approach to preserve points for his Azorean championship campaign, Luis Rego finished fourth, while an impressive Fabian Kreim set the fastest time of anyone in SS13, even beating Russian Rocket Lukyanuk and last year’s winner Bruno Magalhães on his way to fifth in class. Tamara Molinaro was extremely unlucky to pick up punctures on both passes of Tronqueira, but her perseverance was rewarded with sixth place. Behind her were Tomasz Kasperczyk, Laurent Pellier and Pierre-Louis Loubet securing positions seven through to nine respectively. OSCARO-backed Loubet, who like PEUGEOT Rally Academy’s Pellier showed glimpses of what might have been, setting a trio of overall top five stage times on leg two’s afternoon loop. Hubert Ptaszek crashed his ŠKODA Fabia R5 into a farm building on the final stage and got stuck for 20 minutes.

ERC Junior Under 27: Gago streaks clear for Azores win
Diogo Gago put his local knowledge to great use, further extending a 40s lead from Friday to secure FIA ERC Junior U27 victory by over a minute aboard his PEUGEOT 208 R2.

Mārtiņš Sesks had been dueling with Gago for victory on Friday, but come Saturday he was instead looking backwards, fending off Efrén Llarena who had suffered a puncture and lost one minute the day before. A gearbox problem would settle their battle, Sesks losing first and second gear late on during Tronqueira’s rally-ending test and dropping him behind an ecstatic Llarena. “Many thanks to the whole team, to this project of the Rally Team Spain, to the sponsors and to all the fans who from home, and some from here too, have supported us and followed every kilometre. This second place is yours too!” said Llarena.

Gago said: “We did it and I’m so happy with this victory. We work really hard to win here. I’m proud of my team, my sponsors and my co-driver.”

Simon Wagner looked all set to pick up fourth place, but myriad of technical gremlins ground his car to a halt shortly after leg two’s penultimate stage. Powersteering failure coupled with a loose gear level made finishing SS14 difficult, before a broken engine and gearbox mountings sidelined Wagner with 22 competitive kilometres left. Dominik Brož moved up to fourth place as a consequence, as Wagner’s Saintéloc Junior team-mate Catie Munnings took fifth. Mattia Vita retired when his front-left wheel nuts failed on Friday’s first visit to Sete Cidades, but returned on Saturday to claim sixth.

ERC2: Charging Alonso on top
Juan Carlos Alonso turned a 2m53.6s deficit on Thursday evening into ERC2 victory on Saturday, catching and passing all his rivals in a sensational recovery drive. Alonso had been set back by a fuel pump failure on Thursday’s superspecial, but had already climbed to second place and one minute behind ERC2 leader Seregi Remennik by Friday night. Fifteen seconds had already been made up by Alonso in leg two’s opening test, but a spin into a pair of rocks by Remennik expedited Alonso’s charge up the order, giving him a lead he would not relinquish. Luís Pimentel finished third with Menderes Okur fourth. Zelindo Melegari crashed on SS13 after losing time this morning with a broken turbo. Tibor Érdi Jr retired on Thursday with broken suspension.

PROVISIONAL TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 15 stages, 207.30 kilometres)
1 Alexey Lukyanuk (RUS)/Alexey Arnautov (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5 2h33m51.7a
2 Ricardo Moura (ITA)/Antonío Costa (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +16.4s
3 Bruno Magalhães (PRT)/Hugo Magalhães (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +25.7s
4 Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +1m24.2s
5 Fredrik Åhlin (SWE)/Joakim Sjöberg (SWE) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +2m33.1s
6 Norbert Herczig (HUN)/Ramón Ferencz (HUN) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m02.9s
7 Łukasz Habaj (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) Ford Fiesta R5 +4m12.2s
8 Rhys Yates (GBR)/Elliott Edmondson (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m15.7s
9 Ricardo Teodósio (PRT)/José Teixeira (PRT) ŠKODA Fabia R5 +4m43.0s
10 José Pedro Fontes (PRT)/Paulo Babo (PRT) Citroën DS3 R5 +5m01.2s

FIA ERC2: Juan Carlos Alonso (ARG)/Juan Pablo Monasterolo (ARG) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
FIA ERC3: Diogo Gago (PRT)/Miguel Ramalho (PRT) PEUGEOT 208 R2
FIA ERC Junior Under 28: Chris Ingram (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) ŠKODA Fabia R5
FIA ERC Junior Under 27: Diogo Gago (PRT)/Miguel Ramalho (PRT) PEUGEOT 208 R2
ERC Ladies’ Trophy: Tamara Molinaro (ITA)

RALLY LEADERS
SS1: Dávid Botka
SS2-15: Alexey Lukyanuk

​KEY STATISTICS
ERC rally wins in 2018: Lukyanuk 1
ERC stage wins in 2018: Lukyanuk 6; Magalhães 4; Åhlin, Botka, Kreim, Moura, Ptaszek 1

CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS
Go to FIAERC.com for the provisional championship positions following round one of eight.

WHAT’S NEXT?
Rally Islas Canarias, 3-5 May: With the stages climbing and descending at a frequent rate, drivers pay close attention to corner speed and lines to ensure optimal momentum is maintained, while precise car set-up and pacenote accuracy are vital. One of the notable features of the sealed stages is the abrasive surface, constructed partly from volcanic lava. It means grip levels are high and remain constant if it rains, although tyre wear can increase. However, with the opportunity to take ‘cuts’ through corners limited, the roads remain relatively debris-free. Returning to the ERC schedule in 2016, it’s a rally big on challenge and spectator numbers. Media contact: Roberto Martí, prensa@rallyislascanarias.com,

LEG TWO HIGHLIGHTS ON EUROSPORT AND EUROSPORT PLAYER. CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS.

ENDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Rodgers
Media FIA ERC 2018

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24 MARCH 2018

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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 18 AÑOS

POLO GTI R5: GERARD-JAN DE JONGH BY VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT – INTERVIEW SPECIAL

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WRC 2 A FULL 2018

POLO GTI R5: GERARD-JAN DE JONGH BY VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT – INTERVIEW SPECIAL.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/VolkswagenMotorsport/
https://www.facebook.com/PetterSolbergWRX/

 

 

Two years in development, roughly 10,000 kilometres of testing.

As a race engineer, he guided Sébastien Ogier to four titles in the World Rally Championship (WRC) between 2013 and 2016. Nowadays, Dutchman Gerard-Jan de Jongh is responsible for the Polo GTI R5 in his role as project leader at Volkswagen Motorsport. The 200-kW (272-PS) rally car will, in the future, be run by professional teams in the FIA World Rally Championship, interregional series like the FIA European Rally Championship, and national championships. In an interview shortly before the planned homologation on 1 October, 40-year-old de Jongh describes the challenges of the R5 regulations. The engineer also gives an overview of the development steps behind the Polo GTI R5 and looks ahead to the car’s competitive debut at the Rally Spain at the end of October.

Mr. de Jongh, for several years you were Sébastien Ogier’s race engineer at Volkswagen Motorsport. Do you miss the competitive outings?

My role as project leader for the development of a completely new rally car is obviously very different. I had the opportunity to continue to work as a race engineer, but found this new challenge at Volkswagen Motorsport very appealing. My job was suddenly far more complicated and complex than before. I am pleased that I took on this challenge.

When did you start to develop the Polo GTI R5?

In the week after the Rally Australia in November 2016, the last world championship event for the WRC team at the time. I started as soon as I got back to my office. The idea came from François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport.

Demaison is known as a perfectionist. How heavily involved was he in your work?

FX (Demaison’s nickname) is currently responsible for four different projects. Despite this, he has still been very heavily involved in the development of the Polo GTI R5, right from the word go. We have had weekly meetings from the outset, at which we have discussed the further development of the car. FX is one of the most experienced engineers in rallying. His backing really helped me and the whole development team.

What form did the first steps take in the development of the Polo GTI R5?

I first thought about the basic concept of the Polo GTI R5, after which we came up with a design briefing. The next task was to find the right suppliers for the car components that are not made at Volkswagen Motorsport. In this regard, we were able to turn to a whole string of reliable contacts, with whom we worked on the Polo R WRC. They include Xtrac for the gearbox, Bosch for the engine electronics, ZF Sachs for the shock absorbers, and Alcon for the brakes.

How big was the team that developed the Polo GTI R5?

At Volkswagen Motorsport, we have design teams for the chassis, engine and suspension, each consisting of three to six employees. The work was divided between the team members. I was mainly in contact with the heads of department, but also with the designers. Experience has shown me that there is nothing better than personal contact.

What were the basic parameters for the development of the Polo GTI R5?

It was clear that the Polo GTI R5 had to be based on the 2017 generation of the production car. However, the new sixth generation Polo was not yet available when we started to develop the rally car. For this reason, we had to work exclusively with computer data. Thanks to the computer simulation, we had the chassis ready relatively early on in proceedings. We were then able to work with that in the wind tunnel. When defining the specification, we also placed great importance on ensuring that it was possible for private teams to look after the technical side of the Polo GTI R5 without any problems.

How many components were you able to adopt from the Polo R WRC?

Hardly any at all, because the technical regulations are completely different and the Polo R WRC was based on the previous model. However, we did adapt the design philosophy. For example, the mounting position of the shock absorbers, the spring deflection, the geometry of the suspension, and the position of the driver’s seat are similar. Exactly as we did with the Polo R WRC, we strived to make every single component as light as possible, in order to keep the car’s centre of gravity as low as possible. Here too, however, we were restricted by the regulations. Price limits are specified for many parts and a minimum weight is often stipulated – for the bodyshell, for example.

The International Automobile Federation FIA specifies a fixed budget for R5 cars …

… and sticking to this budget with an R5 car like the Polo GTI R5 actually represents a major challenge. It would obviously be possible to build a more effective car within the framework of the technical regulations. However, that would be too expensive and would have to come at a sacrifice. That is out of the question for our company and would not be in the interest of the sport. We have gained similar customer sport experience in touring car racing with the Golf GTI TCR. We were able to build on that for the R5. Furthermore, the regulations stipulate the use of production parts in certain areas, including the steering, radiator, drive shafts, cardan shaft and the engine.

Where did you have to make compromises?

Weight is a big issue with any racing car. As a rule, however, the lighter a part is the more expensive it is. As such, I had to make sure that the suppliers, with whom we wanted to cooperate, understood that we would have to find a compromise between performance and cost. Let’s take a part of the suspension, for example. In simple terms, we designed 90 percent of the part. We then took this design to the potential suppliers and asked them what price they would be able to supply the part for? The important thing was the quantity. We sometimes only needed a handful of the components for the Polo R WRC. In the case of the Polo GTI R5, which is designed for customer sport, we are talking about 50, 100 or even more parts. That obviously has a big influence on the price.

1.6-litre turbo engines are required in the R5 class. However, the production version of the Polo does not have this kind of engine …

The regulations do give us more leeway in this regard. The rules state that the rally car’s engine must stem from one of the group’s production models. We opted for the engine with the internal code EA888, a similar form of which, with a two-litre displacement, is also installed in the new Polo GTI. It was then modified accordingly for the Polo GTI R5.

How long have you been testing with the Polo GTI R5, and which drivers were involved in the tests?

The first test took place in November 2017 at the test facility in Fontjoncouse, France. Since then, Volkswagen test and development driver Dieter Depping, Pontus Tidemand, former world rally champions Petter Solberg and Marcus Grönholm, Raimund Baumschlager, Eric Camilli, and Emil Lindholm have all driven the car. The test programme was demanding: temperatures ranged from – 16 °C to +40 °C and the testing took place at sea level and at 2,800 metres in the mountains. We tested in such varied conditions, in order to ensure that our customers receive a car that performs reliably at all times and everywhere. We also wanted to gauge the opinion of drivers with different driving styles, as well as asphalt and gravel experts. The Polo GTI R5 must be versatile and driveable by the widest possible range of drivers. In total, we will have completed about 10,000 test kilometres by the time the car makes its competitive debut – roughly half of those were on gravel and half on asphalt, as well as a few on snow and ice.

The Polo GTI R5 will make its competitive debut at the end of October at the Rally Spain, the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship. What are your expectations?

We will run two Polo GTI R5s, in order to show the potential of the car. The goal is to demonstrate how competitive the new Polo GTI R5 is at the highest level and on different surfaces. The Spanish round of the world championship is particularly well suited to this, as it is the only one held on both asphalt and gravel. However, we are well aware, from our time with the Polo R WRC in the FIA World Rally Championship, that good planning does not guarantee good results – particularly in rallying. We would be pleased with a good result in WRC2.

In Eric Camilli and Petter Solberg, Volkswagen will have two experienced drivers at the wheel of the Polo GTI R5 at the Rally Spain. Why did you choose these two?

Eric Camilli and his co-driver Benjamin Veillas played a key role in the development of the Polo GTI R5. Both have a wealth of experience in the WRC2 class of the FIA World Rally Championship and finished runner-up in 2017. For them to be involved in the competitive debut of the Polo GTI R5 is the logical next step. Plus, we really value their detailed feedback and analytical approach. Petter Solberg was also involved in the development of the Polo GTI R5. He is one of the most experienced rally drivers in the world and his knowledge is a big plus for any team. Furthermore, he is associated with Volkswagen Motorsport through his team’s commitment in the FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX). It is a special honour and great to have him driving the Polo GTI R5 at the Rally Spain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos: @Media Volkswagen Motorsport

18 October 2018

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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 18 AÑOS

PETTER BACK TO THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP WITH VOLKSWAGEN

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WRC 2 A FULL 2018

PETTER BACK TO THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP WITH VOLKSWAGEN.

 

 

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Petter back to the World Rally Championship with Volkswagen

World Rally Champion to drive Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in Spain
Petter delighted to be back in the series where he won his first world title
Salou-based event will be the debut rally for Volkswagen’s all-new Polo GTI R5

Petter Solberg will return to the World Rally Championship to drive Volkswagen Motorsport’s Polo GTI R5 at Rally de España next month.

The Norwegian, who won the WRC title in 2003, will join the factory Volkswagen Motorsport team alongside Eric Camilli (FRA) for its one-off outing at the Salou-based event from October 25-28.

Petter, who first tested the Polo GTI R5 in Sweden at the start of the season, will test the car ahead of his rally return.

Since departing the World Rally Championship, Petter has focused his efforts on the World Rallycross Championship, where he won two more FIA world titles (2014/15). For the last two years, Petter’s own team – PSRX Volkswagen Sweden – has worked closely with Volkswagen Motorsport; the squad’s Polo R Supercars are prepared ahead of each World RX round in Hannover.

Petter said: “I think everybody knows about my passion for rallying and when Sven [Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport director] asked me if I would like to do Spain in the Polo, I jumped at the chance.

“When I drove the car in January, I didn’t want to stop. Everything about the Polo GTI R5 worked from the very beginning. To be in the car for the very first time is a real privilege for me – I’m very happy that Volkswagen trusted this job to me and to Eric [Camilli].”

Norway’s Veronica Engan will co-drive Petter, having worked alongside him at his January test of the Polo GTI R5. Veronica is well acquainted with the Solberg family –she’s normally found co-driving Petter’s son Oliver.

Petter’s illustrious WRC career spanned 14 years and 188 starts. He won 13 of those events, scored 54 podiums and collected 457 stage wins and 852 points.

Beyond the numbers, Petter remains one of the sport’s most popular drivers and going back to Salou is bound to bring a range of emotions.

“This is the place where I did my last event before I decided to switch to rallycross,” said Solberg. “It will be fantastic to be back, especially with this car and team. The chance to drive Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5 on gravel and asphalt in the WRC’s only mixed-surface event is a challenge I can’t wait to start. I have seen what Volkswagen Motorsport does from the inside in World RX and it’s going to be a real pleasure to work with them in rallying.

“As well as that, it will be great to see some old friends and fans again. Spain was always one of the events I really loved, the passion and atmosphere there is just fantastic.”

Being a natural competitor, Petter will have an eye on the times at an event where he finished second overall in 2010.

“I know how good the Polo GTI R5 is,” said Petter, “and I think people know I’m not just going there to drive around. It’s an honour to join the team for this event and I will go there to do my best and push as hard as I can.”

Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets said: “Petter is a true rally hero. We have already experienced his passion and professionalism working alongside him in World Rallycross. To give everything, always 110 per cent is Petter’s trademark.

“He tested the Polo GTI R5 and, from the beginning, it was our dream to have him in the car to give this new customer rally car its debut. It’s fantastic that he joins us in Spain to drive the Polo R5; I’m sure everybody is looking forward to seeing him back again – and our new car.

“For sure, everybody in Volkswagen Motorsport is excited to be working on a rally and on this special event with Petter and our second driver Eric Camilli.”

Rally de España startswith a spectacular opening stage in Barcelona before moving into day one’s dirt stages in the Tarragona hills. For the weekend, it’s all about the racetrack-smooth roads inland from the service park at Salou’s popular holiday park PortAventura.

Petter will face 18 stages on a 1,496 kilometres (929 miles), of which 331km (205 miles) are competitive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2018 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Media Office, All rights reserved.

18  October 2018

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RRM ARGENTINA WRC 18 AÑOS

WRC COMEBACK WITH VOLKSWAGEN: PETTER SOLBERG TO DRIVE THE NEW POLO GTI R5 IN SPAIN

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WRC COMEBACK WITH VOLKSWAGEN: PETTER SOLBERG TO DRIVE THE NEW POLO GTI R5 IN SPAIN.

 

 

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VOLKSWAGEN IN CUSTOMER RACING

WRC comeback with Volkswagen: Petter Solberg to drive the new Polo GTI R5 in Spain

2003 world rally champion returns to the scene of his last WRC Rally

Three world champions in one rally: Sébastien Loeb, Sébastien Ogier and Petter Solberg

Debut for the new Polo GTI R5 for customer sport only planned outing as works team

Wolfsburg (20 September 2018). He’s back! 2003 champion Petter Solberg (N) returns to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. Solberg and co-driver Veronica Engan (N) will compete in the WRC 2 class at the Rally Spain in Catalonia from 25 to 28 October. Six years after his last rally in 2012, the Norwegian will make his comeback in precisely the same place, at which he called time on his rally career. Solberg, who drives a Polo for his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team in the FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX), will briefly change fields. The new Polo GTI R5 will make its competitive debut at the Rally Spain, which will be the car’s only outing with the Volkswagen works team. The racing car will then be run by customer teams in national and international championships, in accordance with R5 regulations.

“The opportunity to make a WRC comeback with Volkswagen is a unique one, and I was very happy to accept the offer,” said Solberg. “When I drove the car in January in Sweden, I didn’t want to stop. Everything about the Polo GTI R5 worked from the very beginning. I am really looking forward to the Rally Spain. I always used to like the combination of gravel and asphalt. It will obviously be a special feeling to return to the place I brought the curtain down on my rally career back in 2012. It will be a fantastic reunion with the WRC Family, but one with a professional background. I obviously want to get the R5 Polo off to a good start with a good result.”

Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets: “Petter is a true rally hero. We have already experienced his passion and professionalism working alongside him in World Rallycross. To give everything, always 110 per cent is Petter’s trademark. He has tested the Polo GTI R5 and has always been one of our preferred candidates for the debut of our new customer sport car. It is fantastic that he will drive the R5 Polo in Spain. Everyone in the team is looking forward to the rally and to working with Petter and his team-mate Eric Camilli.”

Petter Solberg returns to his rallying roots

Solberg returns to the WRC from the WRX for a weekend. This sees the Norwegian return to his rallying roots. Between 1998 and 2012, he made 188 appearances in the World Rally Championship – with Toyota, Ford, Subaru and Citroën. In 2003, Solberg won the world championship title with Subaru, ending the season just one point ahead of eventual record-breaking champion Sébastien Loeb and third-placed Spaniard Carlos Sainz. He remains the last nordic world rally champion. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Solberg competed in the WRC with his own team. He then spent one final year as a works driver with Ford in 2012. Solberg claimed 52 podium results in the World Rally Championship, 13 of them victories. The Rally Spain marks Solberg’s first rally with Volkswagen, and his debut in an R5 car.

Three world champions in one WRC rally for the first time for eight years

Solberg is the third world rally champion set to drive at the 2018 Rally Spain, where he will line up against reigning champion Sébastien Ogier and the returning Sébastien Loeb. As such, the last three men to win the title will all compete in Spain – albeit in different classes. The last time three world champions raced at the same event was the 2010 Rally Finland (Loeb, Solberg, Kankkunen).

Solberg and Volkswagen in the WRX – an extremely successful combination

After switching from WRC to WRX, the 43-year-old won the Drivers’ title in both 2014 and 2015. Volkswagen Motorsport and Petter Solberg’s PSRX team announced a partnership at the start of 2017. This has proven to be a winning combination: the team took the Team title and was behind the world champion, Johan Kristoffersson (S), in its very first year. Volkswagen is responsible for the development and technical preparation of the two Polo R Supercars, while PSRX Volkswagen Sweden looks after the logistics, on-site running of the car, and the marketing side of things. Solberg remains the only driver to have won the Drivers’ title in two different FIA world championships.

The Solberg dynasty: drifting and full throttle are in the blood

Solberg originally wanted to be a painter – however, he gave up his training place for motorsport. The rally pedigree within his family tree is evidence of the fact that speed is in his blood. “Mr. Hollywood” comes from an extremely successful dynasty of rally drivers: his parents both successfully took part in Autocross races. His brother Henning Solberg recently claimed the best result for an R5 car in the overall standings at the Rally Turkey – sixth place – and can also look back on an eventful WRC career. When Petter married his wife Pernilla, the Solbergs joined forces with the Walfridsson family – already an established name on the Rallycross and rallying scene. Pernilla was long regarded as one of the best female rally drivers in the world. It is no wonder then that their son Oliver has already enjoyed great success as he follows in his parents’ footstep – including in the FIA Baltic Rally Trophy and the Latvian and Estonian Rally Championship.

Already part of the family: Veronica Engan in the co-driver seat at the Rally Spain

The choice of co-driver for the Rally Spain was an obvious one. Veronica Engan has competed alongside son Oliver in various R2 rallies since 2017, and is virtually a member of the family. The 34-year-old can point to roughly 150 starts with Nordic rally drivers, including Eyvind Brynildsen (N), Marius Aasen (N), Johan Kristoffersson (S), Bernt Kollevold (N) and Anders Grøndal (N). Her career started in 2003, since when she has 27 WRC and seven WRC 2 rallies to her name. Her best result came in 2009, when she finished seventh alongside Mads Østberg at the Rally Italy on Sardinia.

Petter Solberg’s career at a glimpse
Date/place of birth: 18 November 1974 in Askim (N)

Career highlights 
2003: 1st place FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
2002, 2004 and 2005: 2nd place FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
2010: 3rd place FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
2014, 2015: 1st place FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX)

WRC statistics 
188 rallies, 52 podium finishes (13 wins)
459 stage wins
852 championship points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Volkswagen Motorsport

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18 October 2018

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