Volkswagen completed a six-day for Rallye Monte Carlo this week, the 2016 WRC season opener, with Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen all in action for two days apiece.
The tests took place about 70 kilometres outside Gap, where the Rally Monte Carlo will be held from 21 to 24 January, with the squad completing around 1000 kilometres in total.
“Despite a lack of snow, the tests on and around the Col de Perty near the town of Laborel were worth their weight in gold,” VW said.
“The three driver/co-driver duos trialled set-up variants for the Polo R WRC and tested various combinations of the Michelin tyres to be used next year.”
The test represented the second outing for Mikkelsen with his new co-driver Anders Jaeger, following the runs for Rally Sweden at the end of November.
Speaking after the test, Volkswagen Motorsport director, Jost Capito said: “The Rally Monte Carlo is truly legendary, for many different reasons.
“The ever-changing weather conditions, which fluctuate between ice, snow, rain and dry conditions, make the rally precisely what Monaco is renowned for: a gamble.
“Furthermore, it is the first rally on the WRC calendar, meaning all the drivers, co-drivers and manufacturers start with zero points. Everyone wants to make the best possible start to the new season and take as much momentum as possible into the coming rallies. As such, tests are of great importance, in order to prepare for the tough tasks ahead.
“For the third time in a row, we go into the season as the team to beat, and we will be up against stronger opponents than before: Hyundai has a new car, while M-Sport-Ford has strengthened its squad of drivers and co-drivers.
“As such, we go into the season with heightened senses – and, thanks to the tests, with sufficient experience for the Monte.”