Volkswagen Motorsport has agreed an exclusive three-year partnership with Sweden's Marklund Motorsport to enter the new-for-2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.
The announcement follows hot on the heels of recent news that both Ford and Peugeot are committing to this year's World RX series, as well as confirmation that 2013 Global Rallycross champion Toomas 'Topi' Heikkinen will join Marklund as the team's lead driver for the next two seasons.
"Rallycross is attracting ever-increasing levels of attention in Europe and overseas, and is one of the fastest growing motorsport disciplines out there,” Volkswagen's motorsport director, Jost Capito, commented, “The races are short and sweet, the cars are spectacular and look almost like factory models.
“Marklund Motorsport ranks among the most ambitious independent teams and has single-handedly developed the Polo for the 2014 FIA RallyCross World Championship. Jan Marklund's professional approach was our condition before embarking on this collaboration, in which Volkswagen Motorsport provides the team experience and expertise from rally sport. In Toomas Heikkinen and Anton Marklund they have one of the strongest driver pairs in this championship and we are already excited about seeing them behind the wheel of the Polo RX supercar."
Both Marklund drivers will compete in all twelve rounds of this year's World RX, where the Scandinavian pairing will debut their new Polo RX Supercars at Montalegre in Portugal over 3-4 May.
“The FIA World Rallycross Championship is going from strength-to-strength at the moment,” Martin Anayi, managing director of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, enthused, “With Peugeot Sport and Ford Racing both pledging their support to World RX over the past month, it's excellent news that Volkswagen Motorsport has partnered with Marklund Motorsport and the Polo RX Supercars will also be unleashed on the 2014 grid.
“Marklund Motorsport is one of the best motorsport teams in the business and, with the team's technical expertise and professionalism, coupled with Volkswagen's continuing success on the world stage, the team must be a real championship contender. It is a testament to the huge advances Marklund Motorsport has made in World RX to attract a partner of the calibre of Volkswagen.”
Team owner Jan Marklund admitted that he was excited to be pairing up with the reigning WRC champion.
“Volkswagen's pedigree in motorsport is there for everyone to see, there is no better manufacturer for us to be partnered with than the current WRC champions,” he concluded, “Volkswagen is looking to make an immediate global impact in the world of rallycross and I'm happy that Marklund Motorsport is their chosen partner for the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
“We will now continue the hard work we have put in so far this pre-season and, with the support of Volkswagen, we are very much looking forward to delivering results from the first race of the new season.”