25 May 2015
WRC Rally de Portugal: We've banished memory of Argentina - Capito
Jost Capito: It was the perfect weekend, we took the best result after the worst one – really it was really perfect
Volkswagen boss Jost Capito says he is “incredibly proud” of his team after they banished the memory of Argentina with a perfect 1-2-3 finish on Rally de Portugal.
Rally Argentina last month was Volkswagen worst event since it entered the sport back in 2013, ending its run of 20 consecutive podiums, with fuel supply problems sidelining both Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, while Andreas Mikkelsen crashed out in the final test.
That was all forgotten in Portugal, however, and in addition to locking out the podium - just like in Monte Carlo earlier this year and in Australia last year – VW also took the top three positions in the Power Stage, the first time a manufacturer has done it. It meant VW also took the maximum 122 points possible from the event in all three championships, another first, to cap off a truly exceptional weekend.
“What a great reaction from the entire team here in Portugal after the huge disappointment in Argentina!” Capito said. “Portugal was Volkswagen's most successful rally since we lined up with the Polo R WRC and a lot of people have made a valuable contribution to this outstanding triumph – particularly our drivers and co-drivers.
“Jari-Matti Latvala produced a strong, mature display [to win] and, like Sebastien Ogier, made the most of what he had to play with. This time Seb just missed out.
“Andreas Mikkelsen also put in a very fine performance on his debut with the second-generation Polo R WRC [to take third]. I take my hat off to all three. They once again had a dream team behind them, who did a flawless job. Every one of them did their utmost to banish the memory of Argentina. I am incredibly proud of our team.”
“It was the perfect weekend, we took the best result after the worst one – really it was really perfect. I told the guys: 'I want to go to the press conference and take all of you with me – but I don't care where you sit!' It's been really good,” Capito added.
Meanwhile, Capito noted that he wasn't surprised by the way Latvala pushed in the penultimate stage on Sunday to secure the victory.
“We know what he can do when he is strong and confident. We know what can happen. We don't really care [who finishes where], we let them drive and we let them win. They are the three best drivers in the world, we believe, and they can handle it,” Capito added. “We don't need to tell them, they can go for it and they do – it's great for the fans and the sport. They really enjoy the competition in the team. We all sit and have breakfast together and make jokes, then they go and do their best – they get the full support from the whole team. They enjoy it as much as we do watching them.”
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