Volkswagen will hope for more success this weekend when it returns to Argentina for the latest round of the World Rally Championship.
VW picked up three Dakar titles in the South American country in recent seasons and will target another strong finish with the Skoda Fabia S2000s being campaigned this season to help the team prepare for the debut of the new Polo WRC next year.
Sebastien Ogier will again be joined by reigning IRC champion Andreas Mikkelsen for the event.
“Returning to Argentina with our team brings back fantastic memories,” VW motorsport director Kris Nissen said. “This is where we won the Dakar Rally with the Race Touareg in the past three years – and found many friends and fans in the process.
“With Volkswagen being represented with its own plants in Argentina this almost feels like a home rally. The fact that the WRC round this year is particularly long should also suit us well, as thanks to its Dakar experience our squad is used to long distances and short nights. The run now is about gathering important experiences in the WRC by fielding the Fabia S2000 of the Group's Skoda brand in order to be optimally prepared with the Polo R WRC next year.”
Rally Argentina will be the longest event in the WRC since 2002, meaning it will be the longest event for team leader Ogier who admitted it would be a huge challenge.
“It's the longest rally I've ever driven,” the former Citroen ace said. “For the drivers as well as for the mechanics, it's likely to be a very strenuous run. You've got to manage your energy levels really well and the car, too, is in for an endurance test.”