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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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El mes de octubre, ha sido brillante para nuestra publicación, ofreciendo un número muy interesante, que le detallamos a continuación.
El Rally de Acrópolis de Grecia, fue todo para el joven finlandés Kalle Rovanperä, que con su TOYOTA Yaris WRC Plus, sacó diferencias en este piso pedregoso y rocoso heleno.
Eleonora Mori, la mágica navegante italiana, que tocó el suelo con las manos en el Tricolore #2019, cuando estuvo en la butaca derecha de Luca Rossetti y el NEW C3Rally2 Evo de Citroën Italia.
#TEIN y ADVAN Yokohama, disponen de una unión ganadora en el JRCA 2021 con su piloto estrella, el experimentado, Fumio Nutahara, sobre la Yaris GR de última generación.
El Rally de Montecarlo, se prepara para recibir a la era moderna del WRC #Hybrid #2022 y el máximo responsable en la dirección deportiva de la prueba monegasca, Christian Tornatore, nos explicó lo que viene para el Rally más famoso del mundo, el RMC.
El Rally de Alemania, trabaja para la edición 2022 0 2023, con muchas ganas de volver a tener a lo más granado de la especialidad en Tréveris. Y destaca a la bella modelo germana, Alena Gerber, como una posibilidad concreta de imagen del ADAC WRC Rally Deutschland a futuro.
Oliver Solberg, concreta su sueño de ser piloto Factory del #HMSGOfficial en tiempo parcial para 2022 y acumula experiencia en sus participaciones con el i20 N Rally2 Evo y la Coupe i20 WRC Plus semi oficial para finalizar el año con el Forum8 ACI Rally Monza.
La ACI Team Italia y la Motorsport Italia, realizaron una temporada muy buena con el piloto local, Fabio Andolfi, que arriba de la Fabia R5 Evo 1, fueron protagonistas hacía el título, hasta la última instancia del Rally Due Valli.
El #ARGWRT, un sueño que se puede activar en cualquier momento, con las conversaciones y negociaciones de la Top Run Motorsport de Italia, y la TCR South América, la escuadra lombarda, que conducen los hermanos Agnello desde Varese. Que necesitan vender los #WRXSTI TCR EVO de Subaru, para encarar el ambicioso proyecto WRC3 de cara a la estación #2023.
25 Oct #2021

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El mes de la primavera, septiembre ha sido una etapa muy interesante para nuestra publicación, ya que en estas semanas hemos trabajado bastante en la elaboración de la misma:
Los temas más convincentes de la edición #RRM #157 son los siguientes:
El Rally de Estonia, todo quedo en poder del joven finlandés Kalle Rovanpera, en su primera victoria mundialista con TOYOTA.
Y el belga Thierry Neuville, no tuvo rivales en Ieper, tripulando de forma magistral a la Coupe i20 WRC Plus de Hyundai Motorsport.
#TEIN enfrenta una temporada con intensidad completando los frentes más amplios en el Rally japonés y en otras actividades deportivas a nivel internacional, con sus innovaciones totales en los sistemas de amortiguación desde Yokohama al Mundo exterior de la disciplina en el ámbito global.
Olga Litcan, la indispensable y responsable de la logística de Motorsport Italia, en sus diferentes secciones, tanto en la parte estructural con el Rally Di Roma Capitale, como en el centro de atención de la escuadra romana, que gestionan Max Rendina y Bruno De Pianto.
Donde la bella dama rubia, se destaca en sus funciones y obtiene un redito muy importante para el buen rendimiento funcional interno del equipo italiano más representativo en la actualidad que tiene el Rally Mundial.
El #BRX con sus Hinteros T1 se presentó en la clásica Baja Aragón de España, donde sus tres prototipos armados, construidos y fabricados en Gran Bretaña. Desde Banbury, con la dirección del magnate David Richards. Incorporando al piloto nacional Orly Terranova, quien ha desempeñado una labor muy destacada, obteniendo grandes parciales, junto a sus compañeros de equipo, el francés Sebastien Loeb y el español Nani Roma.
Qatar, con el príncipe Nasser Al-Attiyah se encuentra en un momento aceptable con el presente en el MERC 2021, imponiendo su conducción al volante de la Polo GTI R5 del Autotek Motorsport de Gran Bretaña. Que alista el veterano Ken Skidmore y se consolida en el Cross Country Mundial con la Hilux oficial de Toyota By Overdrive Team, que maneja Jean-Marc Fortín.
Pero no debemos olvidar de la temporada 2012, donde el vínculo con los franceses de Citroën Racing, que Nasser realizo el lazo estrecho con la firma de Satory/Versalles, bajo el apoyo del gobierno de Qatar, mediante su primo Al-Thani, que dispuso de la DS3 WRC de ultima especificación similar a la de Ogier y Loeb. Ese paso fue fundamental para luego irrumpir en el futbol internacional, con la compra del PSG, el Paris Saint Germain, donde hoy es furor con la contratación del mejor futbolista del planeta, Leo Messi, el as de espadas número 30 del parque de los príncipes galo.
Portugal, ha sido siempre una plaza trascendental para los pilotos argentinos de Rally y nuestra columnista especial lusa, la hermosa Vera Von Monika, nos protagonizó un excelente resumen de nuestros mejores conductores con éxitos inolvidables en el WRC portugués.
El #ARGWRT, se activa en el pensamiento de todos, y el sueño que deseamos, empieza a tomar un impulso milimétrico con las negociaciones de la TOP RUN con los responsables de la TCR South América, para vender sus WRX STI de Subaru para la temporada 2022. Y así empezar a delinear el regreso al WRC3 con los coches de SPEC Rally2 Evo a partir del Rally de Montecarlo 2023. Y del agrado de los hermanos Agnello, es la empresa de automóviles checa, ŠKODA.
Pablo MACHI By #ARGWRT 🇦🇷 🌎
20 Sept 2021

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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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