One-two-three for Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen at the Rally Germany

One-two-three for Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen at the Rally Germany

Lundi 24 août 2015 — Wolfsburg (21 August 2015). Unbeaten on all eight special stages – Volkswagen enjoyed a
perfect opening day at its home round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). All eight
stage wins on day one of the Rally Germany went to drivers at the wheel of a Polo R WRC, as
did all but one top-three positions. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala
(FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) occupy the top three positions after one
third of round nine of the season and, with two days remaining, hold a comfortable
advantage over the rest of the field. However, the action on the demanding vineyard stages
around Trier was far from drab: for vast stretches there was nothing in it between Ogier and
Latvala, as they battled it out for the lead. At one point, the two Volkswagen drivers were
separated by just one tenth of a second – literally a blink of an eye. After 136.30 of 374.43
kilometres against the clock, and an afternoon surge from world champion Ogier, just 9.5
seconds separate the top two in the World Championship. Andreas Mikkelsen trails the
leading duo by just 25.4 seconds, but is sitting pretty in third place, over half a minute ahead
of his closest rival.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Germany

Three Polo R WRC lead the way –

Volkswagen in a league of its own in Germany

 One-two-three for Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen at the Rally Germany
 Fastest without fail – Volkswagen drivers win eight out of eight stages

Wolfsburg (21 August 2015). Unbeaten on all eight special stages – Volkswagen enjoyed a
perfect opening day at its home round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). All eight
stage wins on day one of the Rally Germany went to drivers at the wheel of a Polo R WRC, as
did all but one top-three positions. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala
(FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) occupy the top three positions after one
third of round nine of the season and, with two days remaining, hold a comfortable
advantage over the rest of the field. However, the action on the demanding vineyard stages
around Trier was far from drab: for vast stretches there was nothing in it between Ogier and
Latvala, as they battled it out for the lead. At one point, the two Volkswagen drivers were
separated by just one tenth of a second – literally a blink of an eye. After 136.30 of 374.43
kilometres against the clock, and an afternoon surge from world champion Ogier, just 9.5
seconds separate the top two in the World Championship. Andreas Mikkelsen trails the
leading duo by just 25.4 seconds, but is sitting pretty in third place, over half a minute ahead
of his closest rival.

Having successfully negotiated the opening leg, another two tough days of rallying await the
teams and drivers: on Saturday they had to the Baumholder military training ground, where
they take on the legendary “Panzerplatte” five times. Day two has a very different character
to Friday. Today’s vineyard stages are followed by special stages lined by the notorious
“Hinkelsteins” – massive rocks originally intended to stop tanks in their tracks. The drivers
and co-drivers cannot afford to make a single mistake as they slalom through these
immovable obstacles if they wish to keep alive their hopes of a podium finish.

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“Julien and I had a really great start to the Rally Germany. It was still slippery in some places
this morning, which is why I opted to be a bit more cautious rather than take any unnecessary
risks. Particularly since we ended up in the vineyard on the 'Moselland' stage last year. Then
the afternoon loop went perfectly for us and we really pushed. The set-up of the Polo was
better than in the morning. But Jari-Matti isn't far off. On Panzerplatte on Saturday we
definitely need to pick up where we left off today.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“Overall we are pleased with the day. However, it was very difficult to get the right feeling
for braking. I managed it well in the morning, which meant we were fast. I didn't want to
continue taking too many risks in the afternoon – with the track getting dirtier and dirtier.
Unfortunately this meant that I lost a little more than nine seconds to my team-mate
Sébastien Ogier. However, second place is a good result at the end of the day and we still
have a few special stages to go. And we saw just how quickly things can change here last
year. Now I am looking forward to Panzerplatte in particular.”
Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“It wasn't easy to get into a good rhythm on asphalt from the word go today. It is six months
since we last competed on this surface. I made a few minor errors, in the morning in
particular, and frequently braked much too early. This meant I wasn't able to match the pace
of my team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala. Hats off to their performances. We
gained more momentum in the afternoon, but had a brief moment of panic when the rear
right of my car came into light contact with something on the seventh stage. Then we were a
bit more cautious after that. Overall I am pleased with the day and am looking forward to
tomorrow. I really like the stages on Baumholder in particular.”

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“We have had promising starts to the Rally Germany for the past two years – but today
surpassed any of those. To take every top-three result but one and to win every single stage
is almost unbelievable. It shows how seriously we are taking our mission to win on home soil.
The team has left nothing to chance and is working perfectly together. However, the greatest
praise is reserved for our drivers and co-drivers today: it doesn’t get any better than that –
and that goes for Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen, as well as Julien
Ingrassia, Miikka Anttila and Ola Fløene. We have taken the first step towards success at the
Rally Germany. However, we are well aware that we have another two tough days ahead of
us, on which we will have to maintain full concentration – from drivers to mechanics, codrivers
to engineers. We will definitely not let up.”

And then there was ...
... a lot of “Sisu” and a bit of superstition. This season, it has become something of a tradition
for the rear of the three Polo R WRCs to bear a new message at each rally. Not so for Jari-
Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, however. Following their victory at the Rally Finland,
Latvala, Anttila and engineer Fabrice van Ertvelde insisted on keeping the “#SiSu” that was
emblazoned across the rear spoiler when they clinched their second home win in a row. As
such, the Finnish word, which can be translated as “strength”, “stamina”, “determination”
and “fighting spirit”, is making its second appearance on the number 2 World Rally Car in
Germany. Incidentally, there was little resistance from within the team: after all, why change
something that worked so successfully at the team’s first home race?