Volkswagen prepares for FIA World Rally Championship (WRC): VW begins testing program with Polo R WRC

Volkswagen has started testing with the new Polo R WRC. The first test kilometers last week were conducted in the vineyards of Veldenz near Trier, host to the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. The occasion saw Carlos Sainz of Spain, two-time World Rally Champion, and “Dakar” winner, alongside Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Volkswagen Board of Management for the Development Division and with co-driver Timo Gottschalk from Germany participate.

The test drive spanned a 100 kilometer run on the 2.8- kilometer tarmac circuit. After the functional test, tuning and engine set-up work, and suspension were checked. The test run went off without any hitches. Before the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) commences Volkswagen will continue to work towards testing and developing a four-wheel drive vehicle that logs 300hp.

Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg had this to say. “The first test with the new Polo R WRC is a special moment and marks an important milestone in the preparations for our entry in the WRC.” “We’re well on schedule and are now able to start testing our concepts and developments in reality. The WRC is the top category in rally sport and a great challenge for the team, the drivers and the technology. We’re taking on this challenge and will be making efficient use of the time before we start into our first competition.”

Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director had this to say. “The first Polo represents a preliminary stage of the subsequent rally car and during the upcoming months will serve as a test vehicle for various components such as engines, gearboxes or suspension parts. The findings obtained in these tests will be directly fed into the first thorough-bred Polo R WRC.” “Next year we’ll be running an extensive testing program on tarmac, gravel, mud and snow in order to prepare ourselves for the 2013 season as best we can.”

Carlos Sainz had this to say. “I immensely enjoy being involved in the development and testing of the new Polo R WRC – and having the privilege of driving the first kilometers is naturally a great honor,” “The car is still in an early stage but already feels very good. For the whole team, whether engineers, mechanics or drivers, it’s very important to get to know the first real car as early as possible and to test and continue to develop it.”

Polo R WRC Volkswagen trial runs are also ongoing at the World Rally Championship. The next participation will see German Sepp Wiegand with co-driver Timo Gottschalk, a Dakar winner, and Kevin Abbring with co-driver Lara Vanneste compete in Wales at the Great Britain Rally to be held on 10th to13th November, 2011. The 4th WRC test run will see the VW factory team put forth 2 Skoda Fabia cars for the gravel rally.