The countdown has started ahead of Volkswagen contesting the FIA World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC from 2013. In the Neste Oil Rally Finland, the eighth of 13 World Championship rounds this year, the Volkswagen Motorsport team completed its first test rally with cars from the group brand Škoda this weekend.
A pair of 270bhp Škoda Fabia S2000 from the SWRC were used and driven by the Norwegian driver pair Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene and the Finnish duo Joonas Lindroos / Pasi Kilpeläinen.
Unfortunately both cars failed to make the finish on their rally debut for Volkswagen Motorsport with Lindroos / Kilpeläinen retiring after rolling on the eighth special stage, and radiator damage caused by a stone on the 17th stage meant the end for Mikkelsen / Floene.
"Despite the two retirements the rally was a successful start for the entire team. The service crew did an excellent job during their first event and the procedures functioned very well, so my thanks to the whole team. The driver pairings also did a great job. Andreas Mikkelsen and his co-driver Ola Floene were particularly impressive and showed flashes of brilliance. In general, we collected valuable experience during this first rally weekend and learnt a great deal. We now look forward to competing in the ADAC Rally Germany in the middle of August," said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "
The Volkswagen Motorsport team will compete in other selected rallies in 2011 with cars from the Volkswagen group brand Škoda. Top talents will be given the opportunity to qualify for a 2013 WRC cockpit in the Polo R WRC during these competitive rallies. The German Christian Riedemann and Heins Weijs from the Netherlands aim to showcase their abilities at the next World Championship round the ADAC German Rally (18-21 August) in Trier.
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