The World Rally Championship (WRC) pits cars and drivers in a series of two, three or four day events through some of the toughest conditions on the planet. The roads on this epic motorsport adventure range from the ice and snow of Scandinavia to the stifling heat of Greece – over surfaces including packed ice, smooth asphalt and boulder-strewn rocky tracks.
Last week Volkswagen became the first manufacturer in the history of the World Rally Championship to claim its maiden WRC title in its debut season. Frenchman Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia won the World Rally Championship in a Volkswagen Polo R WRC this past week in France.
This is Ogier/Ingrassia’s maiden Driver and Co-Driver title in the WRC. It is also the first time that a driver or co-driver had ever been crowned World Champions whilst driving for a manufacturer making its debut in the WRC. With the Polo R WRC, Volkswagen is making its first appearance in the WRC in 2013, and has already exceeded all expectations in its rookie season. Volkswagen also leads the Manufacturers’ Championship with three races to go.
Having completed ten rallies, Ogier/Ingrassia currently have six wins and two second places to their name. Ogier/Ingrassia had already scored 25 points on Power Stages this season alone prior to today’s stage – as many points as are awarded for winning a rally. In winning the title, Ogier/Ingrassia succeed record World Championship winners Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (F/MC, Citroën), who had won the previous nine World Rally Championships.
Excited about his win Ogier states “I am absolutely overjoyed! I could give everyone in the world a big hug. The feeling is impossible to describe. To have won the World Championship title in France is an absolute dream come true. For the last few days I have been trying not to think too much about it, in order to avoid making any mistakes. The relief now is immense. As a little boy, I used to marvel at the cars and top drivers at the Rally Monte Carlo with my father in my home town of Gap – and now Julien and I are World Rally Champions. It is crazy. However, I am also well aware that rallying is a team sport. This success would never have been possible without our fantastic team at Volkswagen. Whether trucker, mechanic or race engineer, I have to thank everyone. One thing is for sure – we will celebrate in style now!”