The final race of the World Rally Championship, run in Australia, highlighted also the last appearance of the fantastic Polo WRC and its extraordinary team, the Volkswagen Motorsport, that unfortunately announced its retirement from the competitions.
The demanding Australian round was spectacular thanks to the battle between the Volkwagen drivers ( both wearing Stilo helmets) Andreas Mikkelsen (navigator A. Jæger) and Sebastièn Ogier (navigator J. Ingrassia). The competition has been engaging right to the end when Mikkelsen triumphed over the four times world champion Ogier. On the podium finished another excellent Stilo driver Tierry Neuville (navigator N. Gilsoul) on Hyundai WRC, which confirmed in this way the second place in the championship, behind Ogier. Volkwagen Motorsport says goodbye to the world of the Rally competitions like the overall queen, after 43 wins in the WRC and 4 World Championship won with the pair Ogier-Ingrassia from the 2013 up to the present.
Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“What a fantastic weekend, and what a wonderful result at the end of our season. Today has been a very special day, as it was our last appearance as a team. I was so desperate to win this rally for Volkswagen. It is fantastic to have achieved that. Volkswagen is the team that gave me the opportunity to step up into the top class of the WRC. They put a lot of faith in me and made so much possible for me. They will always have a special place in my heart. Everything came together at the final rally. Everything, absolutely everything, worked perfectly – it was simply the optimum of what we have achieved together in four years in the World Rally Championship. On the one hand, it is a bit of a shame that we just missed out on second place in the championship. On the other hand, that is not so important. If I had been given the choice of winning our final rally together or finishing runner-up in the world championship, I would always have chosen the win.”
Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“I was a bit wide exiting a left-hander at the end of the ‘Wedding Bells’ stage, and spun. In the huge dust cloud, it took me a few moments to work out where the road was. We lost almost 20 seconds as a result. However, I have no regrets. Julien and I were really going for it all weekend, and had had a great battle with Andreas up to that point. He deserved the win. The most important thing is that our fantastic team bids farewell to the World Rally Championship with a victory. This is a very emotional moment for me. I have so much to thank the team for. Volkswagen Motorsport has been like a family to Julien and me. I have made a lot of friends and will never forget the wonderful moments we have had together over the past few years. A fantastic journey is coming to an end, and I am proud to have been a part of it.”