PHOTO: The Volkswagen Motorsport team celebrates its stunning clean sweep in Rallye Monte-Carlo (Volkswagen pic)
VOLKSWAGEN Motorsport produced a mistake-free performance to achieve its stunning 1-2-3 result on last weekend’s Rallye Monte-Carlo, team boss Jost Capito says.
“The key here was no mistakes, none of the six drivers or any of the mechanics or the engineers talking about the tyre choice made any,” Capito said.
“The driver counts more than the car on this rally and there is not a scratch [on the car] and no mistakes.”
The result was the second podium clean sweep after Coates Hire Rally Australia last September. The 23rd victory for the Polo WRC in 27 events, it marked a dream debut for the second-generation Polo R, which was driven by Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala.
Third-placed Andreas Mikkelsen drove a first-generation Polo, but will upgrade to the new version later this season.
Volkswagen became only the fifth manufacturer since 1973 to lock out the Monte podium, an achievement it shares with established rally names Renault-Alpine, Lancia, Audi and Citroën.
“It’s a fantastic feeling for the team. Winning Monte Carlo is very special in itself. A 1-2-3, you can’t imagine – it’s not settled in our minds what has happened here,” Capito said.
“To start the season in this manner with a new car, and in such difficult conditions, far exceeds our expectations.”
Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development, added: “The entire troop worked in perfect harmony. This team is now deservedly up there with the other big rally manufacturers.”