Volkswagen drivers quotes ahead of Rally Poland


Volkswagen drivers quotes ahead of Rally Poland

Volkswagen drivers quotes ahead of Rally Poland

24.06.2014: Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1 “The most important thing is that we are currently in the lead in the WRC

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1

“The most important thing is that we are currently in the lead in the WRC and that we even managed to extend our lead in Sardinia recently. Obviously, we want to keep up the good work in Poland. We know we can’t always win, but we have to set ourselves the goal of always scoring as many points as possible in a rally.

It’s my aim this year to maintain a 25-point lead – in other words, a full race victory – over the team in second place at all times. Because you never know what might happen. I don’t think we can make much use of our pace notes from 2009 or what we experienced back then, as it’s too long ago. I may take a look at some of the on-board footage we shot back then.

On the whole it’s fair to say that this year’s rally is new territory for everyone. We carried out a test in the run-up to the rally, and it went very well. We mainly focused on getting the vehicle set-up right for the conditions in Poland. The track was very fast and it was interesting to familiarise ourselves with the track surface.

It’s very sandy and soft, so after a few cars have driven over it, it can quickly break up and become uneven. As a result, we expect the track conditions to be very different when we tackle the special stages for a second time in the afternoon.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2

“Rally Poland consists of very fast stretches with lots of jumps, a bit like in Finland. But the difference is that there is less forest in Rally Poland and the special stages are more often held in open country. Also, the surface is sandy, rather than rocky. I already have a rough idea of what to expect in Rally Poland as I competed there in 2009.

But the WRC drivers now perform at such a high level – they can very quickly adapt to different conditions, surfaces and grip levels. So it certainly won’t be easy. Some of the special stages are the same as in 2009. Even so, we are writing a completely new set of pace notes and won’t be referring to our old notes at all.

The special stages being held in Lithuania are new. So there are a lot of new elements, and we therefore need to prepare very carefully. The fans in Poland are crazy about rallies. That was already the case in 2009, and it will be even more intense this time around because Robert Kubica is now competing in the WRC. There’s bound to be a great atmosphere.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9

“After doing well with Ola in Rally Italy, I’m now looking forward to Rally Poland. I picked up some experience there in the Škoda Fabia WRC in 2009 and I really enjoyed that. Rally Poland is very, very fast. The special stages are pretty sandy, so it definitely won’t be easy.

There will be a lot of spectators there to support us and, of course, in particular Robert Kubica, who is something of a national hero in Poland. The fans will be treated to some long jumps and a great show. There’s just a great atmosphere there.

The route is pretty fast with stretches of uninterrupted driving, which should suit my driving style nicely. I’m confident that we will achieve a good result there. We came fourth for the third time in Italy. So I’d like to improve that by at least one place this time.”

Did you know …

… that Rally Poland has been running since 1921? After Rally Monte Carlo, which started in 1911, it’s the oldest rallying event that’s still going today.

… that although Rally Poland has been going since 1921, it has only been part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) twice to date? That was in the first year of the world championship in 1973 and in the 2009 season. From 1964, the Polish rally was part of what’s now the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) on 44 occasions.

… that the first winner of Rally Poland was the local hero Tadeusz Heyne in 1921? Driving a Dodge, the Pole came through against six other opponents in the event.

… that a German won the first WRC rally in Poland in 1973? Achim Warmbold won the rally, driving a Fiat. And his co-driver was Jean Todt (F), the current president of the FIA, the world governing body for motorsport.

… that the Ford duo Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN/FIN) clinched victory in Poland’s last guest appearance in the World Rally Championship in 2009?

… that the Volkswagen Group brand Škoda won Rally Poland in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in 2012? The duo Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN), who were also in the lead overall in the ERC at the time, won the event with a Škoda Fabia Super 2000.

… that Rally Poland replaces Rally Greece in the 2014 WRC calendar? Last year in Greece, the Volkswagen duo Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) scored their first ever victory in the Polo R WRC.

… that the 2014 competitors can look forward to 24 special stages comprising 362.48 timed kilometres in total? The full distance of the rally is 1,671.34 kilometres. The four special stages being held in Lithuania on the second day are a new addition since the 2009 rally.

… that the 2014 rally headquarters will be in the tourist town of Mikołajki, which has a population of approximately 3,800 and is in the Polish voivodeship (province) of Warmia-Masuria?

… that the 71st Rally Poland is being organised by the Polish Motor Union (PZM) in partnership with the Lithuanian Automobile Sport Federation (LASF)?

… that this will be the first time in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) that a rally is held in two countries in different time zones? Poland is on central European time (UTC +01:00), while Lithuania uses eastern European time (UTC +02:00). However, Rally Poland will use the same time for the whole of the rally – Polish time has been set as the rally time.

… that Rally Poland has been held on gravel roads around the Masurian Lake District since 2005?

… that there will be an evening spectator stage under the floodlights at Mikołajki Arena on four of the rally days?

The number for Rally Poland: 18,021.58 km

18,021.58 kilometres in 53 appearances – this is the distance that the three Polo R WRC vehicles have jointly racked up so far in special stages in 2013 and 2014. This is equivalent to driving a circuit comprising Gap (France), Töysä (Finland) and Oslo (Norway) three times – these being the birthplaces of the Volkswagen drivers Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall Standings

Drivers' Championship
1.    Sébastien Ogier    138
2.    Jari-Matti Latvala    105
3.    Mads Østberg    66
4.    Andreas Mikkelsen    63
5.    Mikko Hirvonen    40
6.    Elfyn Evans    36
7.    Kris Meeke    32
8.    Thierry Neuville    31
9.    Martin Prokop     30
10.    Henning Solberg    22
11.    Bryan Bouffier    18
12.    Robert Kubica     12
13.    Ott Tänak    10
14.    Benito Guerra    8
15.    Chris Atkinson     6
16.    Pontus Tidemand    4
17.    Jaroslav Melichárek    4
18.    Juho Hänninen    4
19.    Nasser Al-Attiyah    3
20.    Lorenzo Bertelli    2
21.    Matteo Gamba    2
22.    Craig Breen    2
23.    Yuriy Protasov     2
24.    Jari Ketomaa    1
25.    Khalid Al-Qassimi    1
26.    Dani Sordo    0
27.    Hayden Paddon    0

Manufacturers' Championship

1.    Volkswagen Motorsport    227
2.    Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT    109
3.    M-Sport    78
4.    Volkswagen Motorsport II    64
5.    Hyundai Motorsport    57
6.    Jipocar Czech National Team    32
7.    RK M-Sport WRT    18
8.    Hyundai Motorsport N    4

Stefan Moser,Andre Dietzel, photos Willy Weyens


24.06.2014 / MaP

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