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The “Monte” mix: Volkswagen kicks off its 2016 WRC campaign.


Volkswagen starts the 2016 season as defending champion in all WRC competitions
The opposition: like Volkswagen, the rivals are also well prepared for the new rally season
The ultimate home rally: route passes Sébastien Ogier’s doorstep in Gap, finale in Monaco

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
Rally Monte Carlo

20 January 2016

Wolfsburg (15 January 2016). A classic to kick off the World Championship – Volkswagen opens its campaign in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a truly iconic rally from 21 to 24 January: the “Monte”. Three Polo R WRCs line up at the Rally Monte Carlo, the first of the 14 rounds that make up the World Rally Championship this year. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) are the men to beat, having finished first, second and third in last year’s world championship. As well as the new-look, stronger opposition, the Volkswagen crews face another tough opponent: the rally itself. With unpredictable weather frequently making a lottery of any tyre selection, the infamous “Monte” is the toughest possible way to start the new season. The route of the 2016 rally is 377.59 kilometres long, spread over 16 special stages – including the famous “Sisteron–Thoard” stage and the Col de Turini.

“The Rally Monte Carlo is often exactly what Monaco is renowned for: a gamble,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “The unsettled weather makes tyre selection a lottery. On the one hand, you need the driver and co-driver to cooperate perfectly. On the other, you also need the ice spies, weather crew and service team to work in harmony. In this regard, there is no greater challenge in the World Rally Championship. And that is precisely why we are so looking forward to it, as we are well prepared.”

39 out of 80: the tyre lottery

Dry or wet? Snow or black ice? Puddles or frozen patches? These are the kind of questions that need answering before you can select your tyres at the Rally Monte Carlo. However, that is the thing about the “Monte”: the weather and route conditions are far from easy to predict- particularly as it is not rare to encounter all of the above on one special stage. While the sunny side of a mountain may be dry, you could easily be confronted by black ice one turn later on the shaded side.

The advantage lies with those who can rely on a good crew in their route note cars. The ice spies drive the route before the start of the special stage and pass the information acquired on to the co-driver, who adapts his pace notes accordingly. When it comes to tyres, the WRC drivers have a maximum 20 soft and 24 super-soft asphalt tyres at their disposal, as well as 12 winter tyres without studs and 24 with. A maximum 39 of these 80 tyres may be used during the rally. And each must be used at the right time: as well as the four wheels on the car, a maximum two spare tyres may be carried in the boot.

Zero points – the appeal and motivation of a new season

When Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger open the route at the Rally Monte Carlo – an honour bestowed on them for finishing first, second and third in last year’s World Championship – it will be just 70 days since they last started a special stage. And yet this short breaks marks the start of a new season. Everyone starts with zero points to their name and the same opportunity to claim victories, points and World Championship titles. The rivals at Hyundai line up with a new car at the “Monte”, while M-Sport-Ford has a new driver and co-driver line-up. Volkswagen has also made detailed improvements to the car that has won the last three World Championships, the Polo R WRC. The entry list for the Rally Monte Carlo speaks for itself: three Volkswagens, two Citroëns, three Hyundais and six Fords – 15 World Rally Cars and a further 75 vehicles in other classes have registered for the classic rally in 2016.

In the world champion’s backyard: the Rally Monte Carlo, Gap and the classics

The service park for the 2016 Rally Monte Carlo first sets up camp in Gap, in the French Maritime Alps, before the WRC caravan moves to the harbour in Monaco for its finale. The season-opener is 100 per cent a home race for three-time world champion Sébastien Ogier. He was born in Gap. Last year’s route led straight through his home village, not far out of the city.

Following the Ceremonial Start at the casino in Monaco, the drivers will take on two special stages in the dark on their way to Gap on Thursday. Not only will visibility play a major role, but the ice spies must also be on the ball: freezing wet patches and possible snow in places are the first challenges of the season on the “Entrevaux–Val-de-Chalvagne–Rouaine” and “Barles–Seyne” stages. Friday features three stages to the north of Gap, each of which must be tackled twice. Saturday is not only the day of the classic stages – particularly the infamous “Sisteron-Thoard” stage – but also the longest day of the rally. Roughly half of the kilometres against the clock will be driven on this day. Sunday features two attempts at the “Col de l’Orme–St. Laurent”, which also forms the closing Power Stage. Slotted in between is a new version of the Col de Turini – the “La Bollène-Vésubie–Peira-Cava” stage.

Logistical challenge: from Gap to Monaco – the service park moves house

The teams must overcome another challenge at the Rally Monte Carlo: after the midday service in Gap, the entire rally circus must move 310 kilometres to the harbour in Monaco. This involves reassembling the service area. The next service is scheduled for shortly after 07:00 on Sunday morning.

Quotes ahead of the Rally Monte Carlo

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“I cannot imagine a better rally, with which to start the new season. I have won the ‘Monte’ for the past two years, and would obviously like to win it again this year. For me, it is the most important rally of the year. The key factor is tyre selection. We drivers are very dependent on our ice spies. It is all about interpreting the weather conditions correctly and understanding the unique weather in the Alps.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“The Rally Monte Carlo is something very special every year. The conditions in the mountains can pretty much change from one minute to the next. The roads on the sunny side of a mountain are completely different to the shaded side, where they are often icy. The better the communication with the ice spies, the more likely you are to get a good result at the ‘Monte’. The presentation alone – to be stood in front of the Royal Palace and hopefully receive a trophy – is the ultimate motivation for me at every ‘Monte’.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“I will admit that the Rally Monte Carlo is not one of my favourite rallies. I finished third here last year, and that would be an outstanding result again in 2016. I will be driving alongside my new co-driver Anders Jæger from now on. It will certainly take a while for us to get up to 100 per cent. I have an extremely positive feeling after all the tests with Anders. I am sure we will find our rhythm after a few special stages.”

Three questions for … Michelin technician Hugues Pierron

From a tyre manufacturer’s point of view, what makes the “Monte” such a special rally?
Hugues Pierron: “The ‘Monte’ is incredibly complex. You have to select the best tyres for up to three completely different special stages. You can never select the perfect tyres for all three stages. That is simply impossible. What you are looking for is the perfect compromise. That is why we have our people who, for example, are able to tell us accurately that it is snowing at kilometre one, that the route is drying out from kilometre six, and that there are patches of black ice from kilometre 20 to the finish. We are then able to make the tyre selection together with the driver.”

What is the role of the Michelin technician during a rally?
Hugues Pierron: “I am available as a consultant during a rally. I am in contact with the drivers, co-drivers and their engineers. For example, if a driver opts for soft tyres I am able to tell him: ‘Remember back at the tests in December, you destroyed the tyres when the route was too dry’. I am also responsible for the correct tyre pressure.”

What feedback does Michelin receive from the drivers during and after a rally?
Hugues Pierron: “We usually need one to three kilometres to get the tyres up to the ideal temperature. Once the tyres have reached the right temperature, the drivers can see how they are working. The drivers get their feedback from the tyres, and I receive feedback from the drivers. The Volkswagen drivers describe to me exactly what could be better. That makes my job an awful lot easier. At the ‘Monte’, I must be able to react to a tyre selection at the very last second. Last year we had a situation like that with Sébastien Ogier. The forecast was not for it to snow on that particular day. All the meteorologists were agreed. Then, just as the special stage got underway, it started to snow. Everyone was asking me why I opted for these tyres. I was only acting on the information received from our weather people. It is a massive advantage if you know and can judge the weather at the ‘Monte’.”











André Dietzel
Media Volkswagen Red Bull Motorsport

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication Top Run Motorsport

Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Photo : @World / André Lavadinho

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Rally Report Magazine 16 Años




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15 de Octubre 2016

La ilusión del cántabro Dani Sordo, del día de hoy, era mantener la lígera diferencia que cosechó ayer en la etapa de ripio mojado con algunos sectores con barro tripulando su efectivo Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation.

Pero hoy nada fue sencillo para el español, en primera instancia con problemas de subviraje en su unidad coreana armada en la factoría alemana de Alzenau, que le hicieron perder al término de la jornada valiosos segundos. Sin embargo, hay que decir, que el galo Sébastien Ogier realizó una remontada de aquellas, estableciendo cronos al más no poder, con un ataque frénetico sobre el piloto local de Hyundai, demostrando porque es el conductor de la especialidad del momento con casi cuatro coronas consecutivas en su haber, pilotando de forma perfecta el Polo R WRC junto a su amigo e inseparable navegante Julien Ingrassia. Descontando los 17 segundos que había de distancia entre ambos al finalizar el día inicial de tierra y ahora aventajando por 5.8 segundos contra la motivación intacta que origina Sordo, en el Rally de su casa, frente a su público y ante la gran oportunidad de cortar la racha negativa de no poder ganar en Cataluña.

En tercer escalón y en discordia se ubicó el belga Thierry Neuville, con el otro i20 WRC oficial de última evolución, con tiempos aceptables, pero lejos de Ogier y Sordo, y favoreciéndose, tras al abandono sorpresivo por vuelco del noruego Andreas Mikkelsen en la prueba especial 12, cuándo ocupaba la tercera plaza y tenía opciones de podio. Sin poder implementar su gran actuación del 2015, el rubio de Noruega, se va con las manos vacías de Salou.

En tanto que el fines Jari-Matti Latvala ha tenido un Rally para el olvido con el Polo R WRC número 2, con muchos inconvenientes, tanto en errores de conducción, con trompos, etc y pérdida de tiempo relevante en los varios pinchazos que lo consumió, quedando entre los 20 mejores clasificados al culminar este día sábado en PortAventura.

El “Kiwi” Hayden Paddon se recompuso de la mala puesta a punto del viernes y sostuvo un plan de trabajo constante a bordo de su i20 WRC, optando por la interesante cuarta posición, teniendo al británico Kris Meeke de la DS3 WRC by Abu Dhabi y al noruego Mads Ostberg de M-Sport entre el quinto y sexto puesto respectivamente, a sus espaldas, del talento de Nueva Zelanda, que se anima a decir, que sueña con el podio en suelo catalán.

Mientras que en la WRC2, las cosas están muy claras, solo una escuadra que domina a voluntad, los checos de ŠKODA, con sus dos estrellas que manejaron formidablemente sus Fabia R5, el experimentado Jan Kopecký y el sueco Pontus Tidemand. Que desde mañana buscarán el 1-2 fantástico para la marca que gestiona Michal Hräbanek y Pavel Hortek, desde su cuartel general ligado a Praga en Mladá Bolesvav.

Para finalizar dos cosas, los constructores M-Sport de Ford y Volkswagen Motorsport han confirmado que mostrarán próximamente a la prensa especializada a mediados del mes de diciembre sus nuevos autos de cara al revolucionario WRC 2017. Los esperados nuevos Fiesta RS WRC y VW Polo R WRC con las innovaciones aligeradas de las especificaciones que propone la FIA bajo la regulación WRCar 017 desde Montecarlo, la apertura central del Mundial en el año próximo.

54 – RallyRACC-Cataluña-Costa Daurada WRC 2016

Clasificación General Día 2

1-Ogier-Ingrassia-VW Polo R WRC – 2h.35m.12s.8/10 99.813 km/h.
2-Sordo-Marti-Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation -a 5s.8/10
3-Neuvile-Gilsoul-Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation -a 1m.03s9/10.
4-Paddon-Kennard-Hyundai i20 WRC New Generation -a 1m.20s.
5-Meeke-Nagle-DS3 WRC -a 1m.57s.9/10
6-Ostberg-Floene-Ford Fiesta RS WRC -a 2m.35s.7/10
7-Tanak-Molder-Ford Fiesta RS WRC -a 4m.24s.7/10

1-Kopecky-Dresler-ŠKODA Fabia 2h.42m.54s.4/10 95.138 km/h.
2-Tidemand-Andersson-ŠKODA Fabia-a 14s.3/10

All The Best, Pablito, Pablo MACHI WRC














Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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André Lavadinho / @World

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Rally Report Magazine 16 Años




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Rally de Córcega Día 1

Dani Sordo pierde opciones de podio en Córcega.

Cuando ocupaba la tercera posición provisional del Rally Tour de Corse, Dani Sordo se ha visto retrasado debido a un pinchazo en la última especial disputada hoy.

Sordo se ha visto apeado de la lucha por el podio por el que peleaba igual que en el pasado Rally de Alemania, y afrontará la segunda etapa de la prueba corsa en novena posición con el objetivo de llegar con el mayor número de puntos posibles el domingo a Porte-Vecchio, donde finalizará la presente edición del Rally Tour de Corse, décima prueba puntuable para el Campeonato del Mundo de Rallyes.

Dani empezaba la jornada acusando algo de subviraje en su Hyundai i20 WRC, a pesar de lo que marcaba el tercer mejor tiempo en la primera especial del día, Acqua Doria-Albitreccia, de 49,72 kilómetros. El piloto español del Hyundai Shell World Rally Team se iba encontrando más a gusto a medida que transcurría la etapa, pero pinchaba una de las ruedas traseras a pocos kilómetros del comienzo del último tramo cronometrado disputado hoy, perdiendo aproximadamente dos minutos: “Después de los tramos de la mañana me encontraba más a gusto con el coche, y he conservado los neumáticos en el primer tramo de la tarde de cara al último, pero he notado que el coche se movía de la parte trasera hasta que hemos comprobado que se trataba de un pinchazo y hemos tenido que parar a cambiar la rueda en pleno tramo. Ha sido decepcionante. No sé cómo ha ocurrido. Una pena, ya que nos encontrábamos en una buena tercera plaza. Intentaremos ganar alguna posición de aquí al domingo”, explicaba Sordo tras finalizar el último tramo disputado hoy.

Con salida y llegada desde Bastia, al norte de la isla, la jornada de mañana sábado será la más larga del Rally Tour de Corse y estará compuesta de dos bucles a los tramos La Porta-Valle di Rostino (53,72 kilómetros) y Novella-Pietralba (30,80 kilómetros).












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Rally Report Magazine 16 Años




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Home, speed home –
Ogier in a league of his own on day one of the Rally France.

Sébastien Ogier (F), Julien Ingrassia (F) Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2016) WRC Rally France - Corsica 2016 Photo: Bodo Kräling

Four stages, four fastest times – Ogier/Ingrassia open commanding lead on home soil
Latvala/Anttila and Mikkelsen/Jæger within touching distance of the podium in third and fourth

30th September 2016


Wolfsburg (30 September 2016). It doesn’t get any better than this. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) made a perfect start to the Rally France on Corsica in their Polo R WRC. The three-time world champions, who could claim the title for the fourth time in a row with victory at their home race – provided other results go their way – won all four special stages on the opening day of round ten of this season’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Two of the duos out to prevent the Frenchmen from getting their hands on the title this weekend are their Volkswagen team-mates, who are also on course for success: Jari-Matti Latvala/Mikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) ended day one in third place, just ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) in fourth. Second place after 157.68 of 390.92 kilometres against the clock is occupied by Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B, Hyundai). While Ogier/Ingrassia opened a commanding lead of 44 seconds, just 15 seconds separate the chasing pack of three in their battle for second and third.

The opening day featured some typical Corsican special stages: narrow, winding roads and long sections put driver, co-driver and car through their paces in gorgeous autumn weather.

Quotes after day one of the Rally France

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“An ideal opening day for Julien and me – beautiful stages, superb weather and a perfect car. The key to stage one was to find our rhythm. Looking at the lead we opened, we appear to have done just that. It was pretty hot in the cockpit in the afternoon, particularly on the long 50-kilometre stage. We have a similarly demanding day ahead of us tomorrow, particularly if the weather deteriorates. However, we obviously want to continue as we were today, to make sure we win in the end. That is definitely the goal at our home rally.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“We were a little too cautious at first, but gradually found our rhythm the further into the rally we got. We can make a few improvements here and there, for example when braking, but apart from that we are racing the right way for the Rally Corsica. That only makes the outstanding times set by our team-mate Sébastien Ogier all the more astonishing. Hats off to his performance. We will obviously try to stick with him tomorrow and on Sunday. If we can, we have a good chance of finishing on the podium.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“We are not so much focusing on winning the world championship, but more on securing second place. With that in mind, we are going nicely in fourth place. I struggled to know how hard to brake in the morning. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of time as a result. Apart from that, though, it was a good day for us, but we have two more challenging days ahead to come.”

Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“We could hardly hope for a better start to the Rally France. Sébastien Ogier was clearly in a league of his own, while Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen are also well-placed. First, third and fourth is more than we had expected and hoped for. However, everyone in the team is well aware that we are only one third of the way into the rally and we still have a lot of work ahead of us. If we remain as focused as we have been so far, there is a good chance we will be rewarded with a strong result.”

And then there was …

… a little milestone. Andreas Mikkelsen is contesting his 75th rally in the World Rally Championship at the Rally France – the 45th with Volkswagen and the tenth with his co-driver Anders Jæger. The Norwegian made his debut at the 2006 Rally Great Britain. Since then, he has finished on the podium on 18 occasions, including victories at the 2015 Rally Spain and the 2016 Rally Poland – all with the Polo R WRC.

Standings after day two of the Rally France

01. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen, 1h 37m 52.8s
02. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai, + 44.0s
03. Jari-Matti Latala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 58.0s
04. Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N), Volkswagen, + 59.3s
05. Craig Breen/Scott Martin (GB/GB), Citroën, + 1m 18.7s
06. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai, + 1m 26.2s
07. Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (F/F), Ford, + 2m 00.7s
08. Elfyn Evans/Craig Perry (GB/GB), Ford, + 2m 36.3s
09. Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai, + 2m 39.1s
10. Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (N/N), Ford, + 2m 41.9s










André Dietzel
Media Volkswagen Motorsport

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication Top Run Motorsport

Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Photos: Hélena El Mokni / Daniel Roeseler / Kräling / Red Bull by Volkswagen Motorsport

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