VW commits to new WRC program
Volkswagen has given the green light to remain as a factory manufacturer in the World Rally Championship until the end of 2019.
The German marque’s initial commitment to the championship was due to end after next season, but the company’s board of directors have decided to pledge their long-term future to the series.
Volkswagen has turned heads since joining the championship last year with its Polo WRC after sweeping to driver, co-driver and constructor championships at their first attempt.
The team has won 16 of the 19 rallies contested with drivers Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala.
This new commitment will be the manufacturer’s biggest motorsport campaign in its history.
The agreement will also see the firm construct a next generation world rally car to adhere to the championship’s new regulations implemented in 2017.
“The Volkswagen Board’s decision to commit to the FIA World Rally Championship until 2019 makes us very proud,” said Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito.
“This faith is a huge motivation for our entire team not to rest on its laurels for a single second, but to continue to show the same degree of passion, determination and commitment to ensure we remain successful in the World Rally Championship.”
While pleased to extend its association with the WRC, Capito is calling for the championship to increase its media exposure.
“A prerequisite for the success of the championship itself is a format optimised for TV, in order to make rallying even more attractive for the general public,” added Capito.
“We call upon the promoters to work together with the manufacturers to significantly increase the media coverage of the series.”
Volkswagen currently leads both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships this season.