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VWs to return on Azores IRC round


The number of Super 2000 variants contesting the Sata Rally Azores in May looks set to grow after the René Georges Rally Sport squad confirmed it was planning to enter a Volkswagen Polo on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge's island event.

And another VW could also appear should Austria's Andreas Waldherr's plan to combine an IRC programme with his domestic championship campaign.

Designed by Volkswagen's distributor in South Africa, the first car has been developed by René Georges' eponymous team in Belgium over the last couple of seasons and made its debut in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2007. Now, team co-ordinator Jack de Keizjer has admitted that he is confident that at least one car would compete in the Azores, with a second being planned for the Ypres Rally in Belgium in June.

"We are talking to some drivers at the moment, but we cannot say exactly who for at least one week," de Keizjer said, "The plan is to do between five and six rallies, with one car in Azores and then a second car in Ypres."

The René Georges team has subjected the Polo to extensive development over the winter and has prioritised enhancing the engine and suspension for the season ahead.

"It is not easy because we are only a private team against many big factory teams, but we believe in this car and we are confident we can be in the top five when we come back to the IRC," de Keizjer insisted.

Waldherr, meanwhile, will pilot the Polo Super 2000 previously driven by Bernd Casier in the IRC on the remaining six rounds of this year's Austrian championship, starting with the Lavanttal Rallye this weekend. The car is one of two owned by Volkswagen Motorsport Austria, which has combined forces with the René Georges Rally Sport operation this season.

"We will provide technical support to Volkswagen Motorsport Austria in their challenge for the 2009 Austrian Rally Championship and two of our team members will be on all Austrian rallies," de Keizjer confirmed.

"We are progressing with the car all of the time and doing our best to improve the power of the engine and the handling. Andreas is one of the favourites for the title this year and will have a strong challenge against the Skoda Fabia Super 2000 of Raimund Baumschlager."

Although 40-year old Waldherr has yet to commit to any IRC events, de Keizjer added that 'it is also possible he will compete on some rallies outside of Austria, including some selected IRC rounds'.

If Waldherr join the IRC, he would double the Austrian representation in the series, joining Franz Wittmann Jr, who is contesting seven events in an Interwetten Racing Mitsubishi Lancer E9.


Related Pictures

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Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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