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Rally France 2013

October 19th
The confetti cannons have already gone off once. But now Volkswagen could pull off its next coup in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Having won the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championships* in France, the factory team from Wolfsburg could now also clinch the manufacturers’ title at the forthcoming Rally Spain (24–27 October). The maths is simple: if either the new World Champions Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) or their Volkswagen team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) finish the Rally Spain in at least seventh place, Volkswagen will lift the manufacturers’ trophy. Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) will also be competing in the third Volkswagen Polo R WRC again at the only rally of the year to be held on both asphalt and gravel.
“Seventh place is all we need to claim the world championship title”, said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “If things go as normal, we’ll manage that in Spain. It really would be the icing on the cake if we were to achieve this in our debut season – we would never even have dreamed of it at the beginning of the season. The whole team will give their all once again to make sure that nothing out of the ordinary happens. There is no weak point in our team, and I’m really proud of that.”

Volkswagen to make a final spurt in the WRC

It would be a crowning achievement: Volkswagen originally set out aiming for podium finishes in its first year, wins in its second, and titles in its third. However, the team – which is not relying on any external assistance – has had a dream of a debut season. Milestone one: Volkswagen made it onto the podium in the very first race of the season, the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo. Milestone two: they bagged their first win at the next rally in Sweden. This was followed by another seven Volkswagen victories before Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia secured the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ World Championship titles* at 18:47 hrs on 03 October 2013 during the French rally.

A thoroughly self-made team

Volkswagen’s surprise success during the 2013 motorsport year is 100% a home-grown achievement. Only a few of manufacturers experienced comparable success in their debut year – and none of them did it on their own. Volkswagen’s success story centres on Hanover, the car maker’s motorsport base, and began back in 2004. Ever since it started competing in the Dakar Rally, Volkswagen has been pursuing a clear philosophy. While most other car makers enlist the help of external, experienced development and race support teams for their motorsport commitments, Volkswagen consistently uses its own people to design vehicles and assist on site at motorsport events. From the cars’ construction to the complex logistics and from quality control to accounting – Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH manages everything independently, only sourcing a handful of vehicle components from service providers.

The Rally Spain: two rallies rolled into one

The penultimate round of the World Rally Championship 2013 is truly unique – and a rally of contrasts. After starting out as a classic asphalt rally on the first two days, it turns into a thoroughbred gravel event on the Sunday. It would be an understatement to say that this changeover is stressful for the engineers and mechanics from the Volkswagen Motorsport team. On the Saturday evening, they have just 75 minutes to change the set-up of three Polo R WRCs from asphalt to gravel. This doesn’t just been swapping the shock absorbers and springs – the adjustments also include changing the vehicle height and fitting a thick underbody protector. On top of all that, they have to replace parts of the suspension, the differential and the gearbox. Instead of asphalt tyres weighing in at 21 kilos per wheel (including the rim), four-kilo open-tread gravel tyres are also used for the last six Special Stages.

“El Priorat”: loved and feared by drivers and fans alike

These contrasts pose a massive challenge for the drivers too. At the start of the rally on the Friday evening, the drivers have to complete the first three Special Stages in utter darkness en route from the opening ceremony in Barcelona to the rally’s base in the seaside resort of Salou. On the Saturday, they face another six Special Stages on asphalt in the mountains inland from the Costa Dorada. This includes tackling “El Priorat” twice – loved by fans for its spectacular hairpin bends. At 42.04 kilometres, it is also the longest SS of the rally.

All change on Sunday – asphalt replaced by gravel

After 217.38 stage kilometres comes an abrupt change. On the Sunday, the teams face a totally different challenge: the face of the rally changes completely overnight. Three final gravel stages completed twice in the course of the day take the competitors to the westernmost edge of Catalonia. More so than on days one and two, the teams’ starting positions could then go a long way towards deciding who will win the rally. If it is dry, the dust thrown up by the first World Rally Cars to tackle the course will not settle in the valleys of this hilly landscape. This means that even during broad daylight, the drivers cannot rely on good visibility.

Quotes prior to the Rally Spain

Jari-Matti Latvala, Polo R WRC #7
“Following on from Séb and Julien winning the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championships in France, our next goal as a team is to clinch the manufacturers’ title too at the Rally Spain. I’d be delighted if I could contribute to that with a good result. Aside from that, I’ve also set myself a personal target this season: I’d like to fight for second place in the Drivers’ Championship. I’m up against tough competition though: Dani Sordo has performed very well recently – he’ll definitely be a force to reckon with at his home event. He’s one of the strongest drivers around on asphalt. But we’ll be competing on gravel during the last day in Spain, which makes the whole thing pretty interesting.”

Sébastien Ogier, Polo R WRC #8
“I’m really looking forward to the Rally Spain. It goes without saying that it’s a great feeling for me to start a rally as World Champion now. Perhaps that will make me a bit more relaxed behind the wheel and allow me to drive faster. In any case, I intend to enjoy it. At the same time, it’s important for us to claim the manufacturers’ title in Spain as well. Winning both trophies in one year would make it the perfect season for Volkswagen. I really like the Spanish rally. It’s very challenging because you have to drive on two different surfaces. The fans in Spain are always very enthusiastic and it will be fun to drive in front of them.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Polo R WRC #9
“The Rally Spain is really interesting because it covers both asphalt and gravel. Most of the Special Stages are on asphalt though. It was definitely very helpful for me to be able to drive the Polo R WRC on asphalt for a few kilometres in France, even though I had problems with the car’s set-up. I’ve competed in Spain twice so far. I really like the rally and hope we’ll do better there than we have recently. Switching from asphalt to gravel isn’t easy. It’s very important to get used to this transition quickly and cope with it. But all the drivers have to make the same adjustment.”

* Subject to confirmation by the FIA.

Volkswagen in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)

Volkswagen is continuing its motorsport success story by competing in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Having achieved three successes with the Race Touareg at the Dakar Rally, the Polo R WRC is the German car maker’s first World Rally Car. This season is also the first time Volkswagen has fielded its own factory team in rallying’s most prestigious competition. The championship offers Volkswagen an opportunity to enhance its global reputation by going head to head with other manufacturers. No model is better suited to this challenge than the Polo – one of Volkswagen’s most widely produced and best-selling cars around the world.

News from the Volkswagen team

+++ Mikko Markkula (FIN) will be back at Andreas Mikkelsen’s (N) side in the Volkswagen Polo R WRC in Spain. The 32-year-old fractured two vertebrae in Finland, forcing him to miss the rallies in Germany, Australia and France. The 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion is now back in action in time for the last couple of events this season. +++

+++ With the help of our Facebook friends, Volkswagen will be entering a very special Polo R WRC in the forthcoming British rally. The World Rally Car #9, driven by Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN), will have a special paint job. It will be a colourful affair: almost 4,000 Facebook fans who send in a photo of themselves will be pictured on the 315-horsepower all-wheel drive. One very lucky fan will also win an unforgettable weekend at the Rally Great Britain. Perhaps one of the users of will be the lucky winner. We now have almost 600,000 fans, which means the community is almost ten times the size it was at the beginning of the season. For more info about the fan car, visit: +++

Number crunching at the Rally Spain: seven

The wheel uprights used for the Volkswagen Polo R WRC are very cleverly designed. It takes just seven minutes to replace them during servicing. The mechanics’ opinions were taken into account during the design phase to ensure that the components made servicing easy. The uprights are made from high-tensile aircraft steel which is extremely strong and has outstanding welding properties.

Rally France 2013




Media Volkswagen Motorsport Communications
Photo Exclusive and Copyright:
André Lavadinho
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español

WRC A FULL 2013 / 2014


29 de Diciembre 2013

Cuando todo indicaba que la firma inglesa que distribuye y arma en sus instalaciones de Cumbria, los autos que representan a la compañía norteamericana del ovalo en el WRC, o sea Ford desde 1997 con la responsable gestión de Malcom Wilson, en el día de ayer surgió la versión que su empresa habría acordado un contrato de tres años con Vodafone para participar cómo patrocinador principal de la escuadra británica en el campeonato del mundo de rallyes que organiza la FIA a partir del mítico Rally de Montecarlo a mediados de enero.
Pero al parecer no es tan concreta la opción cómo se vislumbraba para la sustitución del patrocinio de Qatar, tras la determinación del príncipe qatarí, Nasser Al-Attiyah, de dejar de lado por un año la actividad rallística y centrarse al certamen ecuménico de Rally Raid con el equipo alemán que conduce Sven Quandt, X-Raid Team. Mirando el objetivo máximo la edición del Dakar Argentina, Bolivia y Chile 2014 con el MINI ALL4 Racing.
Con esta incertidumbre comenzará M-Sport, el año en el Rally Mundial, si o no Vodafone en los laterales de los competitivos Fiesta RS WRC del finlandés Mikko Hirvonen, el inglés Elfyn Evans, en el día de su cumpleaños número 25 y el polaco Robert Kubica, quien entreno en esta jornada en Europa con vistas a su debut en el ERC Janner Rally con la Fiesta versión RRC by M-Sport con el apoyo del lubricante de su país, Lotos.








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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




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FIA ERC 2014 event preview: 31 Int. Jannerrallye, Oberosterreich


28 December 2013

EVENT PREVIEW: 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, round one of 12
31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich, 3-5 January 2014 (Austria)

ERC Ice Masters to chase success on 2014 season-opener in Austria

Some of Europe’s best drivers will prove their worth as Ice Masters when the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship powers into action on the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich from 3-5 January 2014.

The asphalt showcase, which first ran in 1969 and attracted 100,000 spectators when it hosted the opening round of the 2013 ERC, is based in Freistadt, 40 kilometres north of the city of Linz in Upper Austria. The stages in the spectacular Mühlviertel region use fast, undulating country roads, with ice and snow adding to the challenge facing the crews.

As well as counting as the first event of the 12-round ERC schedule, which will enjoy extensive coverage on Eurosport, the rally is also the opening event of the Austrian and Czech championship seasons. It provides the first opportunity for drivers to chase ERC Ice Master points, an exciting new initiative developed by ERC promoter Eurosport Events.

Close on 50 cars are entered for the international section of the Jännerrallye with Formula One race winner turned rallying superstar Robert Kubica the top seed in his Ford Fiesta RRC. The entry list also includes Austria’s ERC Production Car Cup champion Andreas Aigner, his ERC 2WD title-winning counterpart Zoltán Bessenyey from Hungary, plus the national champions from Austria (Raimund Baumschlager), Czech Republic (Václav Pech) and Poland (Kajetan Kajetanowicz).

The event features 18 stages over a competitive distance of 245.60 kilometres. A Qualifying Stage, held on the morning of Friday 3 January, will be used to decide the starting order among the priority drivers.


ERC aces to make performance step
Several ERC regulars will be taking a step up in performance in Austria. Andreas Aigner, Robert Consani and Hermann Neubauer are among those sampling more advanced machinery than they used in 2013, with Aigner and Consani both competing in Peugeot 207 Super 2000s and Neubauer armed with a Subaru Impreza R4 STI for the first time. Meanwhile, ERC 2WD runner-up Kornél Lukács will switch to a four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX having campaigned a Citroën C2R2 in 2013.

R5 cars out in force in the ERC
Three new-generation Ford Fiesta R5s are entered with Czech drivers Roman Odložilík and Pavel Valoušek, plus top Pole Kajetan Kajetanowicz all competing in the M-Sport-built cars. Valoušek scored the first ERC stage win for an R5-specification car last season, while Kajetanowicz bagged the car’s maiden outright victory in the ERC.

Young ERC hopefuls out to impress
Several future stars will be in action including young Latvian promise Vasily Gryazin, emerging Czech talent Jan Černý, rated Hungarian Kornél Lukács, rising Ukrainian Vitaly Pushkar, German hope Raffael Sulzinger and Simone Tempestini, the current Romanian Junior champion. Černý, Lukács, Pushkar and Tempestini will all be in contention for ERC Production Car Cup honours, where rapid Austrian Beppo Harrach is expected to provide their strongest opposition.

Tarabus to start ERC adventure in Austria
Jaromír Tarabus, a frontrunner in the Czech championship for several seasons, will begin his ERC campaign on the Jännerrallye, one of as many as eight rounds that Tarabus is due to tackle in his Kresta Racing-prepared ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Compatriot and European championship regular Antonín Tlusťák is also expected to contest several ERC rounds in 2014 in a Fabia.

Danhelová and Stratieva to chase ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours
Martina Danhelová and Ekaterina Stratieva will battle for ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours in Austria. Stratieva finished runner-up to 2013 champion Molly Taylor, while Danhelová made a one-off ERC appearance in her native Czech Republic last term.

What’s new in the ERC in 2014?
New rallies, new categories and new awards are all in store for the ERC in 2014. The Acropolis Rally, the Circuit of Ireland Rally, auto24 Rally Estonia and the Cyprus Rally are all new for the upcoming season, while Sibiu Rally Romania becomes a winter event. The FIA ERC Junior Championship will get underway on Rally Liepāja in late January; the ERC Manufacturers’ Cup begins in 2014, while surface specialists will be rewarded with the creation of the new ERC Asphalt, Gravel and Ice Master accolades.


ERC Production Car Cup champion steps up for home rally

A new year and a new car – how much experience do you have of your Peugeot 207 Super 2000?
“Not so much. I did some kilometres in a Race of Champions-style event on a rallycross track in Austria but for sure we will do a test before the rally because it is very important to prepare for the wet, icy and snowy roads you get on this event so you can get the confidence.”

So it sounds like the weather will be a big factor?
“It means there cannot be one real favourite for the victory because it is so easy to make a mistake and go off the road or to make the wrong tyre choice and lose one minute. The weather is changing all the time and it is not easy to be on the right tyres at the right time.”

Your choice of car gives you the chance to start the 2014 ERC season with an overall victory…
“Although it’s my home event I don’t have so much experience on these roads and there are a lot of good drivers doing this rally, including really strong drivers from Austria and Czech Republic. They know the stages very well and will be very fast.”

Is this a one-off drive or is there a chance that you will do more ERC events in this car?
“We don’t know yet. I am very happy to be at the start in this car and I will look forward to this but we are still waiting on decisions from some sponsors before we can look ahead for the rest of the season.”

How crucial will a strong result be in your efforts to secure more backing?
“Of course a good result is important but I don’t think it will make a big difference. The most important thing is to compete in the European Rally Championship when it comes to your country.”

*History was made on the Jännerrallye in 1981 when a four-wheel-drive car was used in competition for the first time. Driving an Audi Quattro, Franz Wittmann won by a margin of more than 20 minutes.
*Speaking of iconic rally cars, event regular Stig Blomqvist will drive a Quattro course car as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of his world rally title triumph in 1984.
*The first Jännerrallye took place in 1969 but a lack of finance meant there was no event between 1986 and 2001. The event didn’t run in 2010 due to a permit issue.
*Ernst Haneder is a baker in Jännerrallye host town Freistadt when he’s not competing. A brush with a telegraph pole ended his hopes of a finish last season.
*Apple strudel and Wiener schnitzel are two popular Austrian dishes. In Upper Austria, dumplings are a favourite, while the Linzer Torte is a cake made from ground nuts and raspberry jam.

ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký claimed what would be the first of six ERC victories during his title-winning season by repeating his Jännerrallye triumph of 12 months previously. In a dramatic finish, Kopecký beat Bryan Bouffier (Peugeot 207 S2000) to victory by half a second after he fought back from a late puncture. Multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager finished third. Austria’s Beppo Harrach clinched the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy for his performance to win the ERC Production Car Cup. Hannes Danzinger recovered from a puncture to win ERC 2WD in a Renault Clio.


Starts: 19:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Messehalle, Freistadt
Finishes: 17:28hrs, Sunday 5 January, Messehalle, Freistadt
Headquarters: Messehalle, Stieranger 8, 4240 Freistadt
Service park: Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt
Facts and figures:
Entries received: 49
ERC appearances: Three (since restructuring of ERC in 2004)
Stages: 18
Stage distance: 245.60 kilometres (138.40 kilometres leg one, 107.20 kilometres leg two)
Liaison: 579.26 kilometres
Total: 824.86 kilometres
Surface: Snow and ice-coated asphalt

Media accreditation and media centre:
Wirschaftskammer (WKO building), Linzer Straße 11, 4240 Freistadt
Accreditation times:
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Friday 3 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Saturday 4 January
Media centre opening times:
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Friday 3 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Saturday 4 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Sunday 5 January

Free Practice (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 09:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg (1.99-kilometre stage approximately three kilometres from the event service park)
Qualifying Stage (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 10:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg
Shakedown (for all other drivers): 11:00hrs-15:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg
Driver photo/interview opportunity: 14:00hrs-15:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Pferdeeisenbahn Museum, Kerschbaum 61, 4261 Rainbach (eight kilometres from service park)
Presentation of competing cars: 16:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
Start order selection: 16:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
FIA Action for Road Safety photocall: 16:40hrs approx., Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
Pre-event press conference: 17:15hrs, Friday 3 January, Wirschaftskammer (WKO building), Linzer Straße 11, 4240 Freistadt (200 metres from the service park)
Ceremonial start: 19:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Messehalle, Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt
Post-event press conference: 18:30hrs, Sunday 5 January, Messehalle, Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt, Austria. Top-three drivers and co-drivers in attendance
Event media contact: Armin Holenia,, +43 6642012700
Television coverage: Daily highlights will be broadcast on Eurosport. Go to the Watch it on TV section of for more information
ERC Rally Radio: Live throughout the event at or through the ERC app
Results, standings, live timing and text commentary:





Media FIA ERC 2014

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español

WRC A FULL 2013 / 2014


28 de Diciembre 2013

Vodafone será el patrocinador oficial de M-Sport a partir del Rally blanco de Suecia, valido por el FIA World Rally Championship 2014 en el mes de febrero en los Ford Fiesta RS WRC de Mikko Hirvonen, Elfyn Evans y Robert Kubica.


Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
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