Ogier And Mikkelsen Strong At Volkswagen's Home Round

Top performance around Trier: At the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the ninth of 13 WRC rounds, the Volkswagen pilots delivered an outstanding team performance. Six months before entering the 2013 WRC with the Polo R WRC, Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia again proved unbeatable in their class and brought home the best result for an S2000 car by now securing sixth overall.

Directly behind them, Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene achieved a top ten result and set a sensational third fastest time on the final stage “Circus Maximus”. To the delight of more than 200,000 fans, Volkswagen Junior and talented young gun Sepp Wiegand and his co-pilot, the “Dakar” winner Timo Gottschalk, were running eleventh overall as the best German pairing, when they had to retire with a suspension defect on the 13th special stage.

“An exceptional effort from our entire team and the three crews – all the boys have performed very well this weekend,” said a very satisfied Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “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.”

At the wheel of his Škoda Fabia, Sébastien Ogier once again dominated the less powerful S2000 class over the 15 special stages covering 1,110.25 kilometres in total. The Frenchman clinched eleven best times in the class and was ultimately quicker than many other more powerful World Rally Cars. “I’m totally happy with the result because the Deutschland rally is one of the most difficult tarmac events on the calendar,” said the delighted Ogier. “In the vineyards and on the Panzerplatte stage, Julien 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.”

Andreas Mikkelsen was also satisfied with his seventh place, marking his best result by now in an S2000 car in the World Rally Championship. “A fantastic weekend for our team. 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,” remarked the defending champion and points’ leader of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). A brilliant performance at the final stage around the Porta Nigra, where the Norwegian was the first S2000 pilot ever to achieve a top three result and pocket an extra point.

Wiegand crashes on Sunday, Jacky Ickx celebrated in historic rally 911

Bad luck plagued the youngest member of the Volkswagen team, Sepp Wiegand. The 21-year-old local, who like Mikkelsen contests the IRC with Škoda, was out shortly after heading into SS 13 Dhrontal (30.76 km) – Suspension damage front right at kilometre six: “We were running well up until a tight right-hander where suddenly we heard a big bang,” said Wiegand. “Obviously we’re very disappointed.” And his co-driver adds: “Our start into the rally was already difficult, we jumped into cold water without the shakedown. But then we quickly found a good speed.” The fans, however, helped the crew quickly overcome their disappointment. “Crazy, I’ve never experienced as much support as here. When we tackled the Panzerplatte I noticed all the flags and banners with slogans. That gave us goosebumps,” admitted the young German driver, visibly moved.

Aside from the field of current rally cars, an impressive turn out of historic rally vehicles tackled the roads along the Moselle. Volkswagen representative and racing legend Jacky Ickx roared through the vineyards with his 1986 Paris Dakar Porsche 911 Carrera 4x4, co-driven by Frédéric Miclotte, much to the delight of the fans.

Volkswagen Motorsport fields two Fabia of the group brand Škoda in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship, in order to prepare for the 2013 WRC campaign with the Polo R WRC under competition conditions.

Source: Paddock Talk