Sunday 25 January 2015

Rally - VW, again

The one-two-three finish at the 2015 Rally Monte Carlo was Volkswagen’s 23rd victory with the Polo R WRC and the eleventh time the manufacturer has had more than one car on the podium since it joined the series in 2013.

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia finished on the top step for the 25th time at the Rally Monte Carlo, and for the second year in a row. This sees Ogier pull level with rally legend Colin McRae in the all-time list of WRC wins. Volkswagen became only the fifth manufacturer since 1973 to record a ‘triple’ in the ‘Monte’ history books, and thus joins the ranks of such legendary rally manufacturers as Renault-Alpine, Lancia, Audi and Citroën.

At the finish Sébastien Ogier said: “Getting a win at the Rally Monte Carlo is special for any driver, but words can't describe what a win here means to me – this is my home. The atmosphere was magical. This 83rd staging of the 'Monte' is one of the most difficult rallies I can remember, as far as the conditions are concerned. Selecting the tyres was particularly difficult at the start. Then there was the exciting battle with Sébastien Loeb. Big thanks go to our team and my ice spies. It goes without saying that I am also delighted with the great overall result for Volkswagen; as long as I'm at the top, Jari-Matti and Andreas are my favourite people to share the podium with.”

Jari-Matti Latvala added: “We couldn't have wished for a better start. Our aim right from the word go was to finish in the top four, and we did better than that. I'm delighted. It's a weight off my mind since my previous starts at the Rally Monte Carlo hadn't exactly been successful. The conditions weren't easy and you had to compromise on speed to avoid making mistakes. After we had built up a good lead early on, it was all about getting the overall result, and no longer about setting the fastest times.”

Andreas Mikkelsen finished third: “Before we set off I would have taken any spot in the top five. Third place exceeds all my expectations. The conditions at this 'Monte' were extremely difficult and it was the first time that I have started here when there has been snow, ice and slippery asphalt. Right from the start my focus was on finishing safely – and it paid off. I learned so much and ended up with a lot. Quite simply, it was a dream start.”

And the pedal cars? Apparently Prince Albert of Monaco became a Daddy to twins a few weeks back. These marketing men don’t miss a trick, eh?

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