VW pairing Sebastien Ogier
and Andreas Mikkelsen secured the strongest result to date for the manufacturer on its home round of the World Rally Championship in Germany.
Ogier led the VW challenge and was again the class of the S2000 field at the wheel of his Skoda Fabia, taking eleven stage best times amongst the Super 2000 machines to finish in an impressive sixth overall
“I'm totally happy with the result because the Deutschland rally is one of the most difficult tarmac events on the calendar,” he said. “In the vineyards and on the Panzerplatte stage, Julien [Ingrassia] and I found an almost perfect rhythm. A bit more power would have been nice, that's why I can't wait to return here next year with the Polo.”
Defending IRC champion Mikkelsen was also in impressive form as he finished one place behind Ogier in seventh overall, with his highlight coming right at the end of the event when he became the first man in an S2000 score a point in the 'Power Stage' – going third quickest through the final test of the rally.
“A fantastic weekend for our team,” he said. “I tried not to lose too much on Ogier and I think my pace was good this weekend. The Michelin tyres for the asphalt stages of the WRC were new for me.”
The only disappointment for VW was a retirement for Sepp Wiegand in the third car when he was running just outside the top ten, although VW motorsport boss Jost Capito said he was still delighted with the outcome of the event.
“An exceptional effort from our entire team and the three crews – all the boys have performed very well this weekend,” he said. “We may have profited from the retirement of some prominent competitors in the WRC field, but that doesn't take anything away from our performance. Ogier and Mikkelsen drove at a consistently high pace, and Sepp Wiegand also did a great job up until his retirement, after all you have to keep in mind the high expectations on a German driver at his home event.”