Published on August 6th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
WRC Finland, VW and Ogier Take A 5th Win
Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) claimed their fifth win of the season with Volkswagen in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – and took a big step towards the World Championship title in the process. 180 km/h through the Finnish forests, jumps of up to 60 metres in length, and all between the ubiquitous trees: the WRC put on a thrilling show for hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic fans in Finland, who saw the overall lead constantly change hands on the first two days of the rally.
A sixth triumph for the Polo R WRC in only its eighth rally outing saw Ogier and Ingrassia extend their lead in both the driver and co-driver standings to 90 points. Volkswagen also increased its advantage in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) finished 17th in the Polo R WRC and contributed six points to the total. Their team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) ended their home rally in tenth place, earning them one World Championship point.
The Rally Finland has been taking place since 1951, and Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia this year became only the fifth duo from outside of Scandinavia and Finland to win the rally. 2013 marked the eleventh time that a non-Nordic driver had won this iconic event in the World Rally Championship: in 1990 it was current Volkswagen Motorsport consultant Carlos Sainz (E) and his co-driver Luis Moya who broke the stranglehold of the Finn’s and Swedes for the first time.
For Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, the fifth win of the 2013 season also marked a long-awaited first. The Rally Finland is a legend in itself: while the average speed at other rallies is around 80 kilometres per hour, it was exactly 120.91 km/h at the 2013 Rally Finland. The event, which every year attracts hundreds of thousands of fans to the forests and banks of the many lakes, is renowned for its ideal route conditions and quick sections lined by a thick wall of trees. Many blind crests and jumps of around 60 metres round off the unmistakable character of the rally.
Top-class results for the Polo R WRC at the Rally Finland: the World Rally Car from Wolfsburg claimed twelve stage wins and a total of 24 top-three times, making it the most successful car at “Formula One in the Forest”. Since its debut at the Rally Monte Carlo in January 2013, the Polo has now amassed an incredible 81 of a possible 143 stage wins. Furthermore, six of the eight World Championship rounds so far have gone to Volkswagen – an impressive record for a car making its debut in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).