The Volkswagen factory team successfully concluded its test outing in the Rally Sweden and gained valuable experience for future rallies with the Polo R WRC. Sebastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia took Class victory with their Skoda Fabia S2000; their team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Floene clinched third place.
With more than 200,000 spectators looking on, the teams regularly left more powerful WRC cars trailing in their wake on the way to 11th and 14th in the overall standings.
“Sébastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen effectively controlled the Super 2000 Class and were not only fast in the process, but also drove very reliably and within their limits – our two Fabias ran without problems, so many thanks to our team also for the excellent work,” said Volkswagen Motorsport boss Kris Nissen.
Said Ogier: “That was a very good rally for us. I’m very happy with our class win. The conditions on the stages were better than expected and it was great fun to drive here. Our pace was very good and because our team mates were also very fast the rally was interesting and informative for the entire team. After all is said and done and it was also the first rally on snow and ice with spiked tyres for our team.”
The 22-year old current Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) Champion Andreas Mikkelsen enjoyed the stages through his Norwegian homeland on Friday and was able to match his team mate’s pace throughout, before losing valuable time and a near certain second position in the Class after suffering a puncture on SS22.
“My second rally with Volkswagen was a very, very good experience – it was obviously a great shame to lose second place within sight of the finish,” said Mikkelsen. “Our first event together last year was the first WRC rally for the team. It was great to see just how much the team has developed since then. The teamwork is fabulous. When compared with the IRC events you must change your approach a little in the WRC. The rallies are longer, but at the same time you have fewer opportunities during the service breaks. You can’t drive so uncompromisingly, but want to be just as fast.”