Sainz: Volkswagen WRC entry is a win-win situation

Two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz contends that Volkswagen's forthcoming return is excellent news for all concerned - as he pledges to do his utmost to help turn the new Polo R WRC into a competitive proposition
Carlos Sainz has welcomed Volkswagen's forthcoming entry into the World Rally Championship, describing it as 'great news' all-round and revealing that he hopes his wealth of experience over the years will help to ensure that the German marque is as competitive and prepared as it can be when it makes its bow in 2013.

VW will return to the series in an official capacity for the first time in more than two decades when the new Polo R WRC joins the fray for the 2013 curtain-raiser [see separate story – click here], and at the car's Olbia launch on the eve of last weekend's Rally Italia Sardinia, it was confirmed that two-time World Rally Champion Sainz will be an integral part of the project as a special advisor.

Having formed close ties with VW since joining the manufacturer five years ago to take on the mighty Dakar Rally – a gruelling marathon that he conquered in 2010 – the Spaniard will play a key role in the development of the aggressive new Polo, and even if he insists that the disciplines of WRC and rally-raid are so different and 'day-and-night' as to be incomparable, Sainz acknowledges that the sport in general is 'a natural fit' for the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer.

“It's great that Volkswagen has decided to come into the WRC,” enthused the 49-year-old, who is set to test the car – although he is eager to stress that he will not be its designated test-driver. “I'm sure VW will try to be very competitive right from the beginning – but winning is a different story.

“Time is already counting down, and although 2013 looks far away right now, it's going to come around very quickly. We need to go step-by-step and work very hard if we want to be competitive from the start. The team has to work to the maximum – and I'm sure they will.

“I have a lot of experience in the WRC, and I'm ready to help the team as much as possible in all areas. I've been in rallying all my life, in so many different teams and I know many people. I've won with most of them and with most of the cars I've driven. I think I know a little bit and have a good picture of what is required. I'm not the team manager, but I will be close to Kris [Nissen – Volkswagen Motorsport Director] and I hope we can do a good job.

“It's going to be good fun to test the car to help the team – but I'm not going to be the test-driver. From time-to-time I can drive the car to give my opinion and my impressions, but it will be very important from the beginning to have the right drivers in the car. You can very easily lose direction if the indications from the driver are not good.

“We need to have a clear project, a clear structure, good engineers [and] good drivers – and we have to be very realistic. We will be facing two very strong manufacturers with a lot of experience in rallying and we are a newcomer, so it will take some time, for sure – but we have to look to be as competitive as possible.”

In that quest, Sainz's indisputable knowledge and expertise will assuredly be a significant boon, and having competed in the WRC during its glory days and witnessed its sad but steady decline since the dawn of the new Millennium, 'El Matador' is convinced that VW's impending arrival on the scene – allied to MINI's works debut last weekend – is another positive indication that the championship is slowly regaining strength and returning to form under its new regulations.

“It's still a bit too early to say, but we are on the way,” he acknowledged. “This is one of the steps required, and I really feel happy for the whole rallying family. VW is one of the major players, and this is a great boost for the WRC – what the championship really needs is for people to come in and compete.

“VW has been growing for a long time and has become one of the strongest companies in the world. The fact that one of the strongest companies in the world has decided to enter the World Rally Championship is great news. I'm sure we are looking towards an upward period in the WRC.”
by Russell Atkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Volkswagen Polo WRC [Pic credit: VW]
Volkswagen Polo WRC [Pic credit: VW]
Volkswagen Polo WRC [Pic credit: VW]
Volkswagen Polo WRC [Pic credit: VW]
Carlos Sainz - Citroen
Carlos Sainz - Volkswagen Race Touareg   [pic credit: Volkswagen Motorsport]
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

May 10, 2011 12:06 PM

Everyone in the sport knows how much effort Carlos outs in to testing, he is still one of the sports best test and develpment drivers He never gives up and he is very very good with attention to detail too I think he would make a Fantastic Team Manager / special advisor - lol

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.