Volkswagen Motorsport have today announced their long-term commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship.
The Volkswagen board decided to give the green light for a continuation of its commitment up to and including the 2019 WRC season.
Volkswagen made its first appearance in the WRC with the Polo R WRC in 2013. The team went on to win all three titles – Driver, Co-driver and Manufacturer – in their first season.
This season, the works team broke the record for most consecutive Rally wins – previously set by rivals Citroen. The team is currently on their tenth consecutive win after Sebastien Ogier’s victory in Rally Italia.
Volkswagen also currently hold a commanding lead in the World Championship with their works drivers first, second and fourth respectively.
Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development, Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser is delighted with the decision to commit. He said: “The FIA World Rally Championship is a very good platform for Volkswagen to demonstrate the efficiency, dynamics and reliability of its cars to a global public.”
“The series is closely orientated towards the technology used in the latest production vehicles and is based on the kind of real conditions that our customers all over the world experience on a daily basis.”
“Furthermore, millions of people are passionate about this spectacular sport.The close interaction between the production and motorsport development departments at Volkswagen, the sporting contest with our direct rivals in various markets, and the huge potential for marketing in the media led to our decision to commit to a long-term involvement in the World Rally Championship.”
Originally, Volkswagen had only planned to be involved with the WRC for three years – from 2013 to 2015. But following their outstanding success and hard work the board felt compelled to extend involvement for further four years.
Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Jost Capito said: “The Volkswagen Board’s decision to commit until 2019 makes us very proud. Volkswagen has never implemented a long-term motorsport programme on this scale before.”
“This faith is a huge motivation for our entire team to continue to show the same degree of passion, determination and commitment to ensure we remain successful in the Wrold Rally Championship.”
Capito also mentioned the growing need for extended media coverage for the sport: “A prerequisite for the success of the championship itself is a format optimised for TV, in order to make rallying more attractive for the general public. We call upon the promoters to work together with the manufacturers to significantly increase the media coverage of the series.”