Volkswagen has completed the maiden test run of its all-new Polo WRC in Germany, with Carlos Sainz putting the first miles on the car that will be used when the manufacturer enters the World Rally Championship in 2013.
Sainz got behind the wheel on roads near Trier usually used during Rally Deutschland for his first run in the car, which he will help to develop over the coming year.
“I immensely enjoy being involved in the development and testing of the new Polo R WRC – and having the privilege of driving the first kilometres is naturally a great honour,” the Spaniard said.
“The car is still in an early stage but already feels very good. For the whole team, whether engineers, mechanics or drivers, it's very important to get to know the first real car as early as possible and to test and continue to develop it.”
VW motorsport boss Kris Nissen insisted that the first car was far from competition ready and would be used to try out parts that will be fitted to the machine that then hits the stages in 2013.
“The first Polo represents a preliminary stage of the subsequent rally car and during the upcoming months will serve as a test vehicle for various components such as engines, gearboxes or suspension parts,” he said. “The findings obtained in these tests will be directly fed into the first thorough-bred Polo R WRC.
“Next year we'll be running an extensive testing programme on tarmac, gravel, mud and snow in order to prepare ourselves for the 2013 season as best we can.”