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Decider Down Under – Volkswagen’s title aspirations at the Rally Australia


Second match point: Volkswagen close to defending the world championship title
Hard times: Rally Australia is the seventh gravel rally of the year
Internal three-way battle: Volkswagen drivers fight for drivers’ championship

5 September 2014

Just a small step to the big goal: With their second “match point”, Volkswagen reaches for the title in the manufacturers’ standings of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at the Rally Australia. From 11 to 14 September the Volkswagen duos of Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) will also start their internal battle for the drivers’ and co-drivers’ standings Down Under. One thing is already certain: Only a driver of a Polo R WRC can win the title since only the Volkswagen drivers have picked up enough points to be in with a chance. In keeping with the motto “may the best man win”, there will be no team orders at Volkswagen when the works team from Wolfsburg takes on one of the most challenging and unique rallies of the year. 20 special stages with 315.30 kilometres against the clock are scheduled.

“The Rally Australia is one of the highlights of the year,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “With the current situation in the world championship it has the potential to be particularly exciting in 2014. In the Ogier versus Latvala duel both drivers have been given the go-ahead to fight for victory. We also have a good chance of being able to celebrate winning the manufacturers’ title early. Last year we won 21 of 22 special stages and started the longest winning streak in the history of the WRC. We’re proud of this. However, it won’t be easy to be successful once again. The Rally Australia has many different challenges and has lots of tricky passages on which it is easy to make mistakes. At our home rally recently we saw just how quickly a rally can be over. But it’s the big challenges that make for victories that are all the sweeter. We would like to experience the sweet side again this time.”

Match point Down Under: five points needed to win the manufacturers’ world championship

Volkswagen could celebrate winning the manufacturers’ world championship early in Australia. Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala need to pick up five points between them to make the dream come true – if Citroën get a one-two victory that is. Whatever happens, it is enough if they defend 129 of their current 169 point advantage over the competition. If they manage this it would be a historic victory. If they successfully defend the title in Australia, this would be the earliest that a title has been decided in 25 years – after a good three quarters of the season.

Ogier versus Latvala – a spectacular classic, new edition in Australia

The Ogier versus Latvala duel has had fans on the edge of their seats since the start of the season. Going into the Rally Australia, Sébastien Ogier has a 44 point advantage over his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala in the drivers’ standings of the WRC. Eight of the nine rallies of the season have been won by one of these two – Ogier has won five, Latvala has won three. However, the perpetual duel has been very much a part of WRC history: Three of the Ogier – Latvala battles are in the ten closest WRC decisions of all time. In 2011, Ogier beat Latvala by 0.2 seconds in Jordan. In New Zealand in 2010, Latvala was just 2.4 seconds ahead of Ogier. The closest result since both of them have been driving for Volkswagen was at the Rally Finland this year, when Latvala celebrated his home victory over Ogier, winning by 3.6 seconds.

And then there is Mikkelsen – The youngster at the top of his game

Finishing in the top five seven times in nine rallies, with three podium spots – Andreas Mikkelsen is having his best rallying season yet in 2014. The champion of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in 2011 and 2012 is 77 points off the top and is in third place in the overall standings, behind Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, and is one of the three drivers who are still in with a mathematical chance of becoming world champion. The Rally Australia sees the 25-year-old youngster take on another gravel rally – his favourite type of surface. Added to this, Mikkelsen has fond memories of the 2013 Rally Australia, which he finished in sixth place on his debut there.

Typical Rally Australia: speedy country roads, tricky forest tracks

20 special stages, 315.30 kilometres against the clock, three days – the Rally Australia around Coffs Harbour in the state of New South Wales presents itself as a compact challenge. However, the special stages are all of varying character: Country roads that are ultra fast alternate with narrow, twisted routes through dense forests. Lots of blind entry points make life difficult for the drivers and their co-drivers. The event organisers have saved the most typical special stage of the Rally Australia for Sunday, when the rally action will take place to the north of Coffs Harbour. “Wedding Bells” in the hilly Wedding Bells State Forest is a demanding 9.23 kilometres against the clock, and the second pass will be the power stage, where the top three are awarded bonus points.

However, the biggest challenge for the participants will be on Saturday, on the southernmost stage of the Rally Australia, the special stage “Nambucca”. At 48.92-kilometres it is the longest special stage of the rally. A major advantage of the Rally Australia is the short distances: The spectator zones are only between 30 and 60 minutes drive from the centre in Coffs Harbour. The World Rally Cars will drive a total of 632.80 kilometres of liaison stages over the three days.

Quotes ahead of the Rally Australia

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“The Rally Australia suits me perfectly. I love the layout of the special stages and always feel good Down Under. 2013 was almost perfect for Julien and me: 19 best times on 22 special stages, and on top of that we secured three bonus points for winning the power stage. Naturally we want to repeat that this year. But that will be far from easy: We will be the first to take to the special stages on day one, and the competition is close and alert – Hyundai proved this with the win and second place in Germany. Mistakes are punished, we experienced that – but that’s rallying for you. The Rally Germany is behind us and we are looking ahead. Fortunately Julien and I are totally fine after the accident. We had a few tests done to make sure, and the results were all positive. We secured the drivers’ title for Volkswagen in Germany, but not the manufacturers’ championship. That’s definitely the goal for Australia.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“The Rally Australia is always something special. I like the relaxed way of life they have there, the countryside and how close this rally is to the ocean. From a sporting point of view we are switching back from asphalt to gravel, which is always harder than the other way around. But we are doing a quick test in Finland before the rally to get used to the feeling once again, and in particular the different braking points. Finland is a good choice since the rally Down Under requires a vehicle set-up somewhere between the Rally Mexico and the Rally Finland. The first day, on which there are increasingly narrow, technical passages through the forest, is more like Mexico. The second day, with its wide, fast and drawn out passages, is more like Finland. So we need two different set-ups: a softer one and a harder one. It helps that the shakedown will be held on one of the special stages this time, just driving in the opposite direction. That will give us a feel for the actual track. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to close the gap on my team-mate Sébastien Ogier in the championship in Germany recently. So we’re starting in the same position. I hope that I can fight for the win. But we also need to keep an eye on the competition outside of our team. I think that Citroën and Hyundai also have a good chance of winning.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“Back on gravel, I like it. The Rally Australia is one of the races this year that I have already completed in the Polo R WRC. I have fond memories of the rally to boot. I enjoyed every special stage back then. We will take many of them on again this year. There are a lot of blind entry points in the forest, which is anything but easy. It’s so easy to make a mistake and wreck the rally for yourself. We will have to pay particular attention to ‘Nambucca’, because it is not only the longest, but also possibly the most difficult special stage of the Rally Australia. Covering just less than 50 kilometres, it has everything that can make life difficult for a rally driver. On top of the many blind corners, there is also the switch to asphalt. But this year we can rely on the onboard notes from 2013, and I will be studying them in detail. Overall I don’t feel under that much pressure since we are in good stead in the drivers’ standings. And whenever I have started without a lot of pressure, I have got a good result. I would like to make it onto the podium again. Of course it would be great to also win a rally one day, but I’m not in any rush. However, the Rally Australia is definitely one of the rallies in which I have the most chance of that.”

Three questions for logistics manager Lutz Meyer

It’s off to Australia – how much more effort is required for overseas rallies than for European events?
Lutz Meyer: “In brief: We had to get everything ready within three days. We dismantled everything in Trier on Sunday and sent the vehicles and the important parts to Hannover that evening so that they were there on Monday morning. The mechanics and I were back in the office on Monday morning after the Rally Germany. All of the parts were sent to the specialist departments to be inspected, they were checked on Monday and Tuesday, on Wednesday we loaded them into the container, listed them, created customs declarations and cleared customs – then it was off again to air cargo. Within Europe we have at least one and a half weeks to do all this.”

How many days a year do you not spend thinking about rallies and logistics?
Lutz Meyer: “There aren’t really any. Maybe Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after that. But even then you can’t switch off completely since the Rally Monte Carlo is in mid-January. In reality you think about it at least once every day – then you think of something or other and write it down. I’ve made an agreement with my girlfriend for my days off: I spend half an hour of the day working. I do that to make sure that the most important things have been done and that the process continues to run smoothly.”

With so many logistics for work, who plans the holidays in your household?
Lutz Meyer: “My girlfriend does, I allow myself that luxury. She plans the holiday, compares and evaluates. And I gladly agree to the result.”

The number of the Rally Australia: 1.8

Volkswagen duo Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia delivered an almost perfect rally in Australia last year. 19 out of 22 possible best stage times and a total time of 3:19.55.0 hours. Ogier/Ingrassia missed out on the ideal rally time (3:19.53.2 hours), which is the total of all of the special stage best times, by 1.8 seconds.















Media Volkswagen Motorsport

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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RRM WRC ARGENTINA MAGAZINE 140 🇦🇷 🌍 -> Order here!



The 140th edition of RRM is eagerly awaited, with all the latest news from the World Rally Championship. Offering special reports with exclusive interviews of international level.
In this time the edition of the month of March, has in its credit everything what happened with the triumph in Sweden, of the British Elfyn Evans with Toyota.

What will come from the Rome Capitale Rally 2020, valid for the European competition, organized by the Italian firm Motorsport Italia, which is headed by Max Rendina.
An intense note from the top executive of TEIN INC. in Japan, Mr. Yoshio Fujimoto, with his sporting support for their stable programs in Motorsport on a global level, both with the professional support of the Japanese shock absorbers for the WRX and WRC. Counting on his successful sports campaign as a driver in the 90’s with Toyota.
Which left the Monte Carlo Rally, with the princely victory of the Belgian Thierry Neuville, who drives the fabulous Hyundai Coupe i20 WRC Plus.

An exquisite and unique report to Mr. Yasuo Hiraoka, the head of Subaru Tecnica International, (STI), who thanks to the management of «kumi» Shinozaki, we were able to make this fantastic review with Mitaka’s boss.
Oliver Solberg, and his debut with the Fabia R5 EVO in Torsby.
The truncated schedule of the Speedagro Rally Argentina 2020, which has been postponed by the Coronavirus. And the Top Run of the Agnello brothers, who acquired a new generation Fabia R5 to run in the short term in the WRC3.
JESSICA VERZIN, the blonde Italian girl, who is in charge of the professional catering work for W RACING PROJECT for the 2019 world champion team of constructors, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, stands out in the publication, showing her feminine and sensual side, and confirming the excellent work that WRP is doing, to provide a fantastic food service, from Italy to
the whole WRC Plus circus.

Finally the new French weapon of Renault Sport Racing of France, the New CLIO Rally 5, which was shown as car 0 in Monte Carlo and debuts in the Mexican Rally Azteca with the Argentinean driver Martin Suriani.
Leaves a bitter and sad taste the postponement of the 40 years of the Rally of the Republic of Argentina, but it is a reason of world health, that exceeds to all, and the first thing is the common sense and the prevention of all.
We expect news soon, with the 2 month interval that the WRC will have, after the dispute in the WRC 2020 in Leon.

RRM WRC ARGENTINA MAGAZINE 140 🇦🇷 🌍 -> Order here!

RRM WRC ARGENTINA MAGAZINE 140 🇦🇷 🌍 -> Order here!

All The Best, Pablito 🇦🇷 🌍

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13 de Marzo 2020

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Paulo Nobre completed stage five of Rally di Roma Capitale with his car boot open.

The FIA European Rally Championship regular from Brazilian explained that he forgot to close it properly prior to the run.

“I took out the [safety] helmets and forgot to close the boot so I make one special stage with the boot open so it was the opposite to Poland [when it was the bonnet that was open].”











Media FIA ERC 🌎🇮🇹

Photos: Media FIA ERC 🌎
Media Rally Di Roma Capitale 🇮🇹🌎
Sven Kollus / Flat Out Media Agency / Germania 🇩🇪

Rally di Roma Capitale FIA ERC Campionato Italiano Rally
#rally #fiaerc #cirally #roma #show #italianstyle #RRC19#rallydiromacapitale #eternapassione

Fiuggi, 21 July 2019

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WRC 2 A FULL 2019 





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M-Sport and Ford are proud to introduce the all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5. Replacing its hugely successful predecessor, the new Fiesta promotes the latest motorsport technology and road-going design.

Based on the Ford Fiesta ST-Line which is manufactured at Ford’s world-class facility in Cologne, M‑Sport has worked closely with the Ford Motor Company to ensure the new Fiesta R5 provides a big step forward in terms of pace and performance.

The original Fiesta R5 is M-Sport’s most successful global rally car and continues to win stages, rallies and championships worldwide. With more than 250 cars in competition, the outgoing Fiesta remains a capable and competitive winner, but its successor boasts improvements in all areas.

The 1.6 turbo charged engine delivers 290 BHP and 475 Nm of torque at 4,000 RPM. The direct injection power plant is also fitted with a 32mm restrictor in conjunction with R5 regulations and provides a significant improvement in response and drivability

Brand-new suspension components include front and rear McPherson struts with redesigned three‑way adjustable dampers from Reiger. The new aluminium damper bodies save considerable weight, and the geometry has been remodelled for optimised traction and stability.

A newly designed Sadev five-speed sequential gearbox mated to front and rear differential units is accompanied by hydraulic servo-assisted rack and pinion steering, and Brembo forged four-piston front and rear calipers provide the stopping power.

The initial design and development started in January 2018, with the first test session taking place in December that same year. Since then, eight test drivers have completed more than 30 days testing on a mix of different roads and conditions.

Smooth Tarmac, rough Tarmac, hot gravel, loose gravel, seasoned test drivers, rally winners, and even Formula One race winners – the latest Fiesta has been put through its paces and no stone has been left unturned in search of optimum speed, reliability and performance.

The project also upholds M-Sport’s support of young talent with 28-year-old Bernardo Fernandes – who engineered Sébastien Ogier to championship success in 2017 – leading the team.

Delving into his knowledge of the award-winning Ford Fiesta WRC, as well as the original Fiesta R5, Fernandes’ experience has been combined with the innovation of youth – his team creating one of M-Sport’s most long-awaiting and exciting creations.

Just like its predecessor, the all-new Fiesta R5 will get its first public outing at next month’s Ypres Rally – Éric Camilli taking to the wheel as the event’s VIP car. As one of the most experienced development drivers around, Camilli knows the car inside out and the event’s fast asphalt roads provide the perfect setting for the car’s debut performance.

More information on the all-new Fiesta R5 can be found in the Technical Specification, and those wishing to make an order are encouraged to contact M-Sport’s dedicated Sales Team at the following email address: R5Support@M‑

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“The Ford Fiesta R5 is our most successful global rally car. It’s a very special car for M-Sport and even though the original cars continue to win rallies and championships all over the world, we have taken our time to ensure this new model is even better with performance gains in every area.

“The test programme has been extensive, and we have worked hard to ensure this new car suits every level of driver. We have quite literally travelled the world – testing on a wide range of surfaces, in varying conditions and with a whole host of drivers taking to the wheel. This car is extremely important to us, and its adaptability is vital to its success.

“I’m extremely proud of this project. As a company we have always promoted young talent, and the design and development of the all-new Fiesta R5 was headed by one of our most ambitious young engineers – Bernardo Fernandes.

“We’ve always given opportunities to youngsters who show a real drive and passion for what they do. Bernardo is a prime example of this, and having driven the car myself I can tell you that he and his team have done a fantastic job. I’m looking forward to seeing the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 in action, and hope to secure even more success!”

Ford Performance Senior Manager, Gerard Quinn, said:

“This is another important milestone for Ford as the introduction of the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 heralds the introduction of the latest in motorsport technology packaged into Europe’s best-selling car in its category.

“Ford investment in the new Fiesta R2 revealed earlier this year and the latest Fiesta R5 ensures that we are supporting a sustainable future in rally for competitors and our partners M-Sport.

“This new Fiesta R5 also enables us to provide a high-quality replacement for its remarkably successful predecessor which was introduced six years ago. In the past two seasons the Fiesta R5 has won more than 40 championships globally, and we are looking forward to much more success with this latest model.”

M-Sport Rally Engineer, Bernardo Fernandes, said:

“This was my first time heading up a project. It was a challenge, but also a real privilege to be given the responsibility. The outgoing Ford Fiesta R5 was so successful, and is still very competitive in the right hands, but we have taken our time to revise and improve every area of the car.

“The R5 category has always been extremely competitive and the biggest challenge is in finding the best compromise between cost and performance. We had a lot of previous experience that helped, and devised a rigorous test programme with a range of different surfaces and drivers.

“The whole team have worked exceptionally hard and we pushed every element to the limit in search of peak performance and reliability. I also need to say a special thanks to Richard Christensen who headed up the design team – his input was integral to the project and we couldn’t have done it without him.

“Overall, I’m confident that we’ve taken a significant step forward and I’m looking forward to seeing what the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 can deliver in the hands of our customers.”












Anna Louise Rudd
Media M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Photos: @M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

8 June 2019

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