Eric Camilli will drive one of Volkswagen Motorsport’s new Polo R5 cars at its world debut in Spain next month.
The Frenchman has played a significant role in the development of the new WRC 2 challenger and his confirmation for RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España (25 - 28 October) was widely expected.
Camilli, who will be co-driven by Benjamin Veillas, finished runner-up in WRC 2 in 2017 and has driven a Fiesta R5 in two rounds of the WRC’s principal support category this season.
“When Sven Smeets (Volkswagen motorsport director) and R5 project lead Jan de Jongh gave me the good news, it was a lovely, belated birthday present,” said Camilli, who turned 31 last week.
“I was delighted and am proud to be part of the team at this important premiere. After an intensive year of testing, it is great to be competing in the first rally with the Polo GTI R5 and I have plenty of motivation to do well.
“Ben and I will prepare diligently for the Rally Spain and hopefully we will be able to start the R5 Polo on its career path with a good result,” he added.
Smeets said Camilli was held in high esteem by the team for his detailed feedback and analytical approach to testing.
“It is the logical next step for them to take their WRC 2 experience into this competitive debut. Having Eric and Ben in the cockpit puts us in an excellent position,” he said.
Volkswagen confirmed last week that two Polo R5s will compete at the mixed surface event rather than the expected one.
The second driver will be announced shortly and reigning WRC 2 champion Pontus Tidemand is believed to have a strong chance after also being involved in the car’s development.