Switch to asphalt successfully mastered:
First, second and third for Latvala, Ogier and MikkelsenHome race for Volkswagen at first all-asphalt round of the 2014 WRCPerfect start on home ground: Volkswagen occupied the top three positions at the end of the Rally Germany Shakedown. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) clocked the fastest time at the first all-asphalt event in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), ahead of team-mates Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N). All three Volkswagen duos completed more than the mandatory two runs of the Shakedown course, in order to prepare as well as possible for the unique conditions around Trier.
Quotes after the Rally Germany Shakedown
Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1“There is a good chance that we will win the Manufacturers’ title in Germany, which would obviously be superb at our home event. Above all, however, we want to achieve a better team result here than last year. The Shakedown went very well. My team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala is certainly one of my main rivals, but Julien and I will also be keeping an eye on the opposition. I believe Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke, in particular, will be strong here. I am looking forward to driving on asphalt again, and particularly like the fast stages in the vineyards. However, you have to be hellish careful: if it rains, the surface becomes extremely slippery and you can fly off the road before you know it.”
Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2“We know that the Polo is also very quick on asphalt, and the Shakedown gave us the opportunity to get used to the conditions around Trier. That worked very well for us, and for our team-mates. Our goal is obviously to follow on from the success in Finland and challenge for victory again here. If we manage to develop the same confidence and feel for the car as we had before, then there is every chance we will get a good result. At the same time, it is important to score valuable points. This would allow us to seal the Manufacturers’ Championship for Volkswagen with races to spare, which would obviously be very special for our team at its home rally.“
Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9“The Rally Germany is the first genuine asphalt event of the season. Despite having little time to test, you have to quickly adapt your driving style from that used on gravel. As such, this will probably be the most challenging rally of the season for us. We completed as many runs as possible in the Shakedown, in order to get a good feel for the different surface. I think we managed that. Bring on the Rally Germany.”
Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director“We want to achieve a lot at our home race. Last year, the rally did not pan out as we had hoped. We want to make amends for that with a good result and repay the many German fans a little for their magnificent support. Everyone in the team is extremely focussed and determined to perform to their very best. The team spirit is fantastic. Occupying the top three positions in the Shakedown just goes to show that our drivers arrive at the first all-asphalt round of the year in good shape. We are ready and looking forward to the challenges that await us at the Rally Germany.”