Volkswagen will run with three cars at a WRC round for the first time at Rallye Deutschland next month, it has been confirmed, with Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen joined by German junior driver Sepp Wiegand. All three will compete in Skoda Fabia S2000s run by the VW factory team.
Wiegand is competing in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge this season and is currently fourth in the standings. He had been on course for second in Romania last weekend, but was forced to retire his Skoda Auto Deutschland-run Fabia S2000 on SS10 when the right-rear suspension broke.
“Sepp Wiegand and [co-driver] Timo Gottschalk are showing a superb performance in their first IRC season,” said Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito. “That's why they deserve the chance to compete for the Volkswagen team at the German WRC round.
“Sepp and Timo were running for us at Rally Great Britain in 2011 but unfortunately were forced to retire at that time. Now they're getting the opportunity to prove their skills at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.”
Wiegand can't wait for the event: “It's a great honour to compete in the Volkswagen team at Rallye Deutschland,” the 21-year-old remarked. “My team colleagues Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen rank among the world's best rally drivers. Being in the same team with them is a great feeling.”
Gottschalk, is confident they can make the most of the chance: “We work together very well and have consistently been improving in the IRC,” she added. “A WRC round is more demanding than an IRC rally but it will give Sepp a good opportunity for further learning.
“In any event, we're well prepared and look forward to putting the pedal to the metal in front of our home fans.”