Volkswagen Motorsport has issued the following Q&A with Director Jost Capito talking about the car and what is expected in 2013:
Q: If you could have chosen a rally for the Polo R WRC to make its debut at – would you have taken the Rally Monte Carlo?
Jost Capito: “The Rally Monte Carlo is not only the most iconic rally on the World Championship calendar, but also the most difficult and complex. The surface alternates regularly between ice, snow, rain and dry asphalt, which can make the strategy difficult and tyre selection something of a lottery. We are obviously delighted that the Polo R WRC will make its debut at this highlight.”
Q: In Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala you have signed two very quick drivers. Who do you feel is the stronger?
Jost Capito: “They are both equally strong. As a Scandinavian, Latvala grew up on gravel – however, he has made huge progress on asphalt in recent years. The same applies to Ogier, who also has what it takes to win on any surface. Both have seven WRC wins to their name. In the end it will come down to who performs best on the day to determine who is the quickest.”
Q: What goals does Volkswagen have for the 2013 season?
Jost Capito: “We are aware that we will be up against strong opposition with decades of World Rally Championship experience. The Polo R WRC, on the other hand, is making its debut this year and the team also has a new look to it. As such, we have to set realistic goals. We want to make it onto the podium under our own steam in the second half of the year.”
What the drivers said:
Volkswagen Motorsport has issued these 2 quotes from Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala:
Jari-Matti Latvala: “I can hardly wait for the season to get started. I may already have five years as a works driver in the World Rally Championship under my belt, but both the Volkswagen Motorsport team and the Polo R WRC are new to me. As such, I will be making my debut in two regards. The tests up to now have shown that the Polo R WRC is very reliable. This is probably the most important finding so far – and a good basis for future technical developments over the course of the season.”
“I have already developed a good feeling for the car on asphalt and snow, which is a good sign ahead of the Rally Monte Carlo. It is great fun driving the Polo R WRC. It is very stable and the driveability of the engine is also very good. I would like to get the season off to a good start at the ‘Monte’. The result is not the top priority yet, although I would obviously love to pick up some World Championship points.”
Sébastien Ogier: “The ‘Monte’ is a very special rally. After all, it is my home rally. However, the season-opener near my home will be an extraordinary experience for the entire team, as it is the first rally with the new Polo R WRC. We have been working towards this moment with Volkswagen for over a year. We can hardly wait to finally get started.”
“However, it is difficult to judge how we will compare to the opposition, as we have not yet raced against the other teams under competitive conditions. Making your debut in a world championship with a completely new car is a big challenge, particularly as the other manufacturers have several years more experience than we do. For this reason we must be patient and concentrate at first on reaching the finish without any problems. Experience shows that this is anything but simple at the Rally Monte Carlo, as anything can happen at this event.”