Prodrive helps VW win Chinese Rally Championship
MEDIA RELEASE: British motorsport specialist, Prodrive, has helped the FAW-VW Rally Team win both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles in the 2015 Chinese Rally Championship this weekend.
The delayed final round, the Jixi Rally, was held on a frozen lake near the Russian border in temperatures as low as -25oC.
The FAW-VW Rally Team came into the event with a slender lead in the manufacturers’ championship.
The team’s lead driver, Chris Atkinson, had a mechanical problem off the start line on the first stage on Saturday and lost two minutes over two stages.
Atkinson, steadily clawed back time over the following two days in his Prodrive-built VW Golf SCRC to finish in third position.
Local driver, Chen Dean in the second Golf took eighth place, which was enough for him to win the drivers’ title by two points (The drivers’ championship is only open to local Chinese drivers).
Combined with Atkinson’s podium, this secured the coveted manufacturers’ crown for FAW-VW.
Prodrive engineer, Richard Thompson, who leads the FAW-VW programme said: “This is a very prestigious title for the local Chinese VW joint venture to win.
“With our technical support and a brand new car, the VW Golf SCRC, built specifically to the regulations, they have now been able to achieve their goal.
“It has been a great team effort with Prodrive and FAW-VW engineers and technicians working alongside each other on every event.
“We have set our sights on retaining the title in 2016 and have already started work on building a fourth VW Golf SCRC in Banbury.”
FAW-VW is one of the VW joint venture businesses which manufacturers cars for the Chinese market.
In 2014 the company approached Prodrive, to design and manufacture the VW Golf SCRC to the specific Chinese Rally Championship regulations.
The Banbury-based business created the near WRC specification car in just five months, which then went on to win the final two rounds of the 2014 Chinese championship.
In 2015 it has won five of the seven events.