FIA World Rally Championship

Volkswagen take historic victory in Monte Carlo

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It was a dream start to the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship for Volkswagen as the team took first, second and third in Monte Carlo. The new generation Polo R WRCs driven by Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala and the 2014 spec car driven by Andreas Mikkelsen locked out the top three positions making them only the fifth manufacturer in WRC history to achieve this feat.

The one-two-three at the 2015 Rally Monte Carlo was Volkswagen’s 23rd victory with the Polo R WRC and the eleventh time the manufacturer has had more than one car on the podium since it joined the series in 2013. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia climbed onto the top step of the podium for the 25th time at the Rally Monte Carlo, and for the second year in a row at the “Monte”. This sees Ogier pull level with rally legend Colin McRae in the all-time list of WRC wins. First, second and third at the 2015 “Monte” was also a historic one-two-three at the iconic rally – and only the sixth ever. Volkswagen became only the fifth manufacturer since 1973 to record a “triple” in the “Monte” history books, and thus joins the ranks of such legendary rally manufacturers as Renault-Alpine, Lancia, Audi and Citroën.

The battle between Ogier and the 9 times world champion Sebastien Loeb was the talk of the rally on the first two days but when Loeb broke his left rear suspension on stage 8 it forced Loeb’s retirement and handed Ogier a healthy lead which he held to the end.

“What a fantastic start to the new season!” said Ogier “I’m over the moon. Getting a win at the Rally Monte Carlo is special for any driver, but words can’t describe what a win here means to me – this is my home. Friends, family and fans give me so much support and self-confidence here. The atmosphere was magical. I’m grateful that I can give something back with my joy.”

The result is the perfect start to the defence of VW’s 2014 championship success.

“A one-two-three at the Rally Monte Carlo is a fantastic performance from the entire Volkswagen team, and I am very proud of our crew,” said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development.

“To start the season in this manner with a new car, and in such difficult conditions, far exceeds our expectations. The entire troop worked in perfect harmony.

“Everyone was there for each other, everyone knew exactly what he or she had to do, and Volkswagen ultimately deserved to win. This team is now deservedly up there with the other big rally manufacturers.”

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Guest Contributor here at The Checkered Flag who will be predominantly covering the 2015 European Rally Championship I also cover the World Rally Championship on occasion. Can be found on Twitter at @matthewmcmahon5
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