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PHOTO: Raimund Baumschlager (right) and co-driver Pirmin Winklhofer will have the privilege of being the first privateer crew to compete with the Volkswagen Polo R WRC (Volkswagen pic)

VOLKSWAGEN’S all-conquering Polo R WRC will finally return to action in the Austrian Rally Championship next weekend.

Raimund Baumschlager has entered the car in the Wechselland Rally, becoming the first privateer to drive the winner of four straight FIA World Rally Championships.

Baumschlager will receive support from Volkswagen Motorsport, including Sébastien Ogier’s former engineer Gerard-Jan de Jongh.

The Polo has been sidelined since Volkswagen withdrew from the WRC at the end of last season, although there has been consistent talk about it returning to the WRC in private hands.

Meanwhile, its all-new 2017 successor has become a virtual museum piece, since it did not receive FIA homologation approval that would have allowed it to compete.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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