Artic Lapland Rally
First outing, first win: Lindholm and the Polo GTI R5 start with a win in Finland
Wins on five out of ten special stages and overall victory by nearly 50 seconds: Emil Lindholm/Mikael Korhonen (FIN/FIN) made a winning start to the Finnish Rally Championship with the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. The success came at a rally steeped in legend: the Arctic Lapland Rally. The list of illustrious winners on the snow and ice in northern Finland includes world rally champions Marcus Grönholm, Tommi Mäkkinen, Hannu Mikkola, Timo Salonen and Ari Vatanen. Lindholm/Korhonen also had to overcome notable opposition on the 243.78-kilometre route, including Formula 1 start Valtteri Bottas and his experienced co-driver Timo Rautiainen (FIN/FIN) in a World Rally Car.
Rally Monte Carlo
“OC” Veiby claims podium finish with the Polo GTI R5 at the “Monte”
Third place at the fiercely-contested Rally Monte Carlo – Ole Christian “OC” Veiby/Jonas Andersson (N/S) earned a spot on the WRC 2 podium with the Polo GTI R5. However, Veiby/Andersson also suffered a set-back at the iconic “Monte”, which lived up to its reputation of presenting the competitors with an ever-changing combination of dry tarmac, damp, wet, ice, slush and thick snow. The bonnet and lights had smashed the windscreen of their car, as a result of them not having fastened the locking mechanisms correctly. The new Polo GTI R5’s debut at the “Monte” turned out to be a successful one: Nicolas Ciamin/Yannick Roche (F/F) won five of the 15 special stages at the wheel of the four-wheel drive car from Wolfsburg. The French pair ended the rally in fifth place in the WRC 2 class.
Volkswagen ID. R
Test phase underway for the Volkswagen ID. R – Target: E-record on the Nordschleife
The next evolutionary stage of the Volkswagen ID. R has taken its first steps on the road to the E-record attempt on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Romain Dumas (F) was at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben last week to test the fully-electric prototype for the first time since improvements have been made under the bonnet. Volkswagen has set its sights on breaking the record for electric cars at the most demanding racetrack in the world in summer 2019. Before then, as well as undergoing further modifications under the carbon exterior, the ID. R will also ‘shed its skin’: the aerodynamics, which were originally designed for last summer’s pioneering, record-breaking run on Pikes Peak, will be adapted to suit the requirements of the “Green Hell”.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
On-track presentation: Road-going version of the Golf GTI TCR1 launched in Portimão
Highly-acclaimed debut in front of roughly 160 journalists: the Golf GTI TCR1 for the streets was presented at the international launch in Portugal. The latest evolutionary stage of the Golf GTI range, which takes its name from the successful customer racing car, was put through its paces in Portimão – on the racetrack, appropriately. A 213-kW (290-PS) 2.0-litre TSI engine allows the top-of-the-range GTI to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds. The top speed lies at 250 km/h, with the option of increasing this to 260 km/h. The road-going Golf GTI TCR was accompanied at the launch by its motor racing counterpart. Motorsport professionals Benjamin Leuchter (D), Florian Thoma (CH), Jasmin Preisig (CH) and Dennis Retera (NL) all gave taxi rides, offering insights into the performance of the thoroughbred touring car, which complies with the TCR regulations.
Johan Kristoffersson/Stig Rune Skjærmoen (S/N) won the 127.3-kilometre Bergslagen Rally in southern Sweden. The duo, who presented Volkswagen’s new customer rally car with its maiden success before the turn of the year, won four of the eight special stages to take victory at the opening round of the Swedish Rally Championship. More information: www.rallysm.se
The Volkswagen customer teams came away from races three and four of the TCR Malaysia series with three podium results to their name. Kai Jordan (D) finished second in both races, while team-mate Brendan Paul Anthony (MAL) followed him home in third place in race two. M