The Volkswagen Polo R WRC car will make its World Rally Championship (WRC) debut at round one of the 2013 season in France at the Rallye Monte-Carlo marking the German brand’s first ever foray into the FIA series.
With two Volkswagen Polo R WRC cars being campaigned for 2013, one manned by Finns Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila and one by the French team of Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, the season-opener that kicks off today in Monte Carlo will be the team’s first competitive outing in the rally series.
Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito said the entire Volkswagen team was looking forward to the WRC debut of the Polo R WRC.
“The ‘Monte’ will give us our first indication of how we compare with the opposition – our rivals already have two years’ experience of the regulations that came into force in 2011, and have been driving in the WRC for many years,” Capito said.
“Our goal for the Rally Monte Carlo is to gain as much experience as possible and to finish with both cars.”
With Mini bowing out of WRC after just one year of competition and Ford also not back for the 2013 season, Volkswagen will be joined by defending champion Citroen – who with rally freak and nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb at the helm have claimed the title for the last five consecutive years – and Hyundai.
The World Rally Championship covers 13 rounds including Rally Australia in September.
At the end of 2012 Volkswagen confirmed the limited production run of 2500 left-hand-drive-only Volkswagen Polo R WRC road cars required as part of complying with homologation regulations for the manufacturer’s entry into the 2013 World Rally Championship season.