The extensive testing programme for the Volkswagen Polo R WRC is now underway, with double World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz and Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management for the Development Division seen clocking up crucial development mileage through the German countryside. Meanwhile, the preparations by Volkswagen Motorsport continue as the team returns to competition later this week, taking part in Wales Rally GB, 10-13 November.
The team heads to Wales, again running two Škoda Fabia S2000s, for the final round of the 2011 World Rally Championship (WRC), with German Sepp Wiegand joined by Dakar Rally winning co-driver Timo Gottschalk and Dutchman Kevin Abbring partnered with co-driver Lara Vanneste. As a key step in the development phase, as well as driver evaluation, the team is looking to optimise this fourth and final competitive run of 2011 ahead of a more intensive testing programme next season before the Polo R WRC makes its competitive debut in 2013.
If you can’t wait until then, footage from the first test of the Polo R WRC – available here – shows rally ace Carlos Sainz putting the 300 hp four-wheel drive hatchback through its paces. With plenty more miles of development to go before it takes to the gravel, tarmac, snow and ice that the WRC calendar has to offer, it is shaping up to be an exciting year.