Published on November 17th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
VW Wins WRC 2014 With Record Points
The final round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) saw Volkswagen set a new record for the number of wins in one single season. Win number 8 of the year for newly-crowned World Rally Champions* Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) presented the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer with its twelfth victory from 13 rallies this season.
Ogier/Ingrassia raced into a commanding lead of over a minute on day one of three in Wales, and were then able to pace themselves intelligently on Saturday and Sunday. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) ended the Rally Great Britain in eighth place, having lost more than three minutes after a mistake on Saturday morning. The extremely difficult conditions in Wales also took their toll on the third Volkswagen due of Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N): they had offs resulting in early retirements on both Friday and Sunday. However, their fightback on Saturday was emphatic proof of what might have been, consisting as it did of five stage wins and four second places in nine stages.
The final round of the year also brought the curtain down on what has been a fairy-tale season for Volkswagen. A series of records went to the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer in 2014. The twelfth of a possible 13 wins saw Volkswagen eclipse the previous record of eleven, held by Citroën. Volkswagen also equalled the record eight one-twos in a season, set by Peugeot back in 2002. And there’s more: Volkswagen also wrapped up the title in the Manufacturers’ Championship at the earliest point of the season for 25 years, as well as becoming only the second manufacturer in WRC history to provide all of the top three drivers in the Drivers’ World Championship. Only Lancia had achieved this feat before them – in 1987 and 1988. Not only were Volkswagen’s achievements impressive, but also the manner in which they were achieved: in 2014, Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen added a further 197 of a possible 249 stage wins to the success story of the Polo R WRC. In total, 23 podiums went to Volkswagen over the course of the season’s 13 rallies. Since the Polo R WRC made its World Rally Championship debut in January 2013, the powerhouse has racked up 22 victories and 41 podiums in 26 rallies. The Volkswagen drivers clocked the fastest time on 345 of the 486 special stages over the last two seasons.
The Rally Great Britain is not only the “Rally of Legends”, but is a legend in its own right. The ubiquitous rain and menacing fog hanging over the forests make for perilous Welsh gravel stages, the likes of which are not experienced anywhere else on the WRC calendar. Smooth in places, mostly muddy, but always slippery, the 70th staging of this classic once again posed an extreme challenge to driver, co-driver and World Rally Car alike.