Volkswagen World Rally Championship programme safe until 2019

Volkswagen's future in the World Rally Championship has been reconfirmed until the end of 2019 despite recent upheaval at the company

Volkswagen World Rally Championship programme safe until 2019

The Volkswagen Group board signed off on the German firm's long-term agreement to stay in the WRC last year, but the recent emissions scandal - and subsequent departure of key board members - undermined that commitment.

Late last month, the new board confirmed nothing had changed.

Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito told Autosport: "The old board approved the programme until 2019.

"But in November when the new guys were in we got the programme approved for this season and they said: 'You come back in the spring and talk about the future'.

"So we went back to the board with our programme until 2019 and we got this approved as it was before but this time with the new board.

"It's nothing new, but it's proof that the future until 2019 is done."

Jurgen Stockmann, VW board member for sales, marketing and aftersales, told Autosport's sister publication Autocar: "The WRC is our sport. We have achieved incredible things in a short space of time in terms of results, and it is a motivator for the whole company in terms of how it shows us what is possible when a team works together.

"That team focus is critical to us, and it extends out to the many fans of the sport who follow us.

"Our [WRC] Facebook page is enormous, with more than 7.5million people reached - double that of the Bayern Munich page we gave.

"It gives us a very passionate following and creates imagery that it's hard not to feel strongly about. We will stay in the sport."

VW has dominated the WRC since it began the Polo R WRC programme in 2013, claiming three straight titles with Sebastien Ogier and winning 37 of the 42 rallies in that time.

Frank Welsch, board position responsible for the Volkswagen brand's technical development, added: "We like very much being three times champions, and we have already started work on the next generation car for 2017, some time ago now.

"The commitment is there to carry on. We are committed to rallying for the next three years at least.

"We hope we will continue to be as successful as we are now against the new competitors we expect to see."

Volkswagen's 2017 Polo R WRC is already well into its test programme.

shares
comments
Hyundai criticises Thierry Neuville for WRC Rally Mexico crash

Previous article

Hyundai criticises Thierry Neuville for WRC Rally Mexico crash

Next article

Latvala thinks WRC title bid is realistic, despite Ogier's lead

Latvala thinks WRC title bid is realistic, despite Ogier's lead
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Teams RK World Rally Team
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021