Volkswagen set for lengthy WRC stay
Thu, 17 May 2012 03:16:00 +0100
New Volkswagen Motorsport chief Jost Capito has told Autosport magazine in the United Kingdom that the firm is likely to extend its stay in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia beyond 2015.
Volkswagen will enter a fleet of Polo R WRCs in 2013 as part of a three-year commitment to the sport’s highest echelon. Sebastien Ogier will drive one of the two factory cars, while a programme for a junior driver in a third entry remains a possibility.
“If you see what is here, what is built up here and what is coming, then it’s difficult to believe it’s going to be for just three years,” said Capito, who has recently replaced Kris Nissen at the helm of the German team. “VW does things on a long-term and strategic basis, it doesn’t go in and out of [programmes] easily.”
Capito said the Polo R WRC project was on course with further testing planned this year ahead of the car’s competitive debut in 2013 when Rallye Monte-Carlo is expected to open the new season.
“The plan is to test this year and wait for Monte Carlo [to debut the new car],” said Capito, who confirmed that it would be unlikely for the car to compete any sooner despite accepting it could be beneficial.
Ford ran its new Focus RS WRC on Rally Australia in 2005 ahead of its full debut the following year. Capito was the company’s European motorsport head at the time.
Source: WRC.com & AutoSport