VW driver quotes ahead of the Rally Argentina and standings


VW driver quotes ahead of the Rally Argentina and standings

VW driver quotes ahead of the Rally Argentina and standings

02.05.2014: Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1 “We all spent time on Sardinia preparing for the Rally Argentina

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1

“We all spent time on Sardinia preparing for the Rally Argentina. The sandy surface there is similar to what we will encounter in South America. Although the surface in Argentina is a little softer, we learned a lot from the tests. I have never won the Rally Argentina.

I came close in 2011 and just missed out last year too. That makes me all the more determined to win in Argentina. The itinerary is almost identical to 2013, which could be a slight advantage for us. Despite this, a gravel rally can change dramatically from one year to the next.

For this reason, we will be particularly focussed during the Recce, in order to include the many minor changes in the pace notes.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2

“I am looking forward to Argentina. I claimed my first podium for Volkswagen there last year. The rally suits my driving style, but is not easy for the drivers. If you’re not careful, you can hit a large stone as soon as you push yourself to the limit – particularly on the second loop.

As such, you always have to give yourself a little breathing space, in order to be able to react quickly if necessary. I would be very happy with a podium finish. Compared to last year, the majority of the special stages are unchanged. There are only minor alterations. Only ‘Mina Clavero’ on the final day will be driven in the opposite direction to last year.

That is completely new to us, and will be a challenge. We did not have the best of times in Portugal. The key now is not to make any more mistakes and perform as consistently as we did at the first three rallies of the year.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9

“It feels good to travel to a rally that I already know very well from the previous two years. I was involved in a long running battle with Sébastien Ogier in a Škoda Fabia Super 2000 in 2012. Last year we pushed the car a bit too hard in the quest for fast times, but were still able to fight our way back into the points on the final day.

While individual results were not necessarily the priority in my first season in the Polo R WRC, I would like to improve this year. In terms of Argentina, that means completing the rally without any major incidents and finishing as near the top as possible.

The closing Power Stage will quite literally be a highlight: the start of ‘El Cóndor–Copina’ is the highest point on the Rally Argentina. From there we plunge down winding roads into the valley. I am particularly looking forward to that, as it demands courage and precision at the wheel.”

Did you know …

… the Rally Argentina was held for the first time in 1980? Back then, the province of Tucumán and the “Automovol Club Argentino” were the hosts. The winners of the inaugural event were Walter Röhrl/Christian Geistdörfer (D/D) in a Fiat 131 Abarth.

… the current president of the International Automobile Federation FIA, Jean Todt, contested the 1981 Rally Argentina as the co-driver to Guy Fréquelin in a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus?

… the rally moved to San Carlos de Bariloche in 1983? Since 1984, the province of Córdoba has hosted the event.

… the 2010 Rally Argentina was held as a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and not on the WRC calendar? Victorious co-driver back then: Mikko Markkula, in the passenger’s seat of a Škoda Fabia Super 2000 alongside Juho Hänninen. Markkula has been reading the pace notes for Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen since 2013.

… Volkswagen Group brand Audi claimed two victories in Argentina in the 80s? The winning car on both occasions was the legendary Audi quattro A2. Hannu Mikkola/Arne Hertz (FIN/S) triumphed in 1983, with Stig Blomqvist/Björn Cederberg (S/S) victorious in 1984.

… Volkswagen team member Luís Moya (E) won the Rally Argentina twice? In 1991 and 2002 alongside Carlos Sainz (E).

The number for the Rally Argentina: 17

Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia line up with a very special chassis at the Rally Argentina. The Polo R WRC with the internal number 17 and official number plate WOB-VW 369 made its debut at the Rally Germany in August 2013.

The rough beginning at Volkswagen’s home event was followed by an irresistible winning streak: the number 17 chassis triumphed in a diverse range of conditions at last year’s Rally France and in Monte Carlo and Mexico this season.

It was with this very chassis in France that Ogier/Ingrassia secured the Driver and Co-Driver titles in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall Standings

Drivers' Championship         points

1.    Sébastien Ogier    91
2.    Jari-Matti Latvala    62
3.    Mads Østberg    48
4.    Andreas Mikkelsen    36
5.    Mikko Hirvonen    36
6.    Thierry Neuville    21
7.    Elfyn Evans    20
8.    Bryan Bouffier    18
9.    Martin Prokop     18
10.    Kris Meeke    17
11.    Henning Solberg    16
12.    Ott Tänak    10
13.    Benito Guerra    8
14.    Chris Atkinson    6
15.    Jaroslav Melichárek    4
16.    Pontus Tidemand    4
17.    Juho Hänninen    4
18.    Matteo Gamba    2
19.    Craig Breen    2
20.    Nasser Al-Attiyah    2
21.    Yuriy Protasov    2
22.    Jari Ketomaa    1
23.    Dani Sordo    0

Manufacturers' Championship         points

1.    Volkswagen Motorsport    144
2.    Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT    75
3.    M-Sport    60
4.    Hyundai Motorsport     45
5.    Volkswagen Motorsport II    40
6.    Jipocar Czech National Team    20
7.    RK M-Sport WRT    4
8.    Hyundai Motorsport N    0

Stefan Moser, Andre Dietzel, photos Volkswagen

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/vw-driver-quotes-rally-argentina-standings-wrc-volkswagen-polo—122659.html

02.05.2014 / MaP

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