Volkswagen today (10 June) announced it will extend its participation in the FIA World Rally Championship until the end of 2019.
The German manufacturer, which has dominated the series since it entered at the start of last season, originally committed to a three-year programme until the end of 2015. It has now extended that by a further four years.
Volkswagen won both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles with the Polo R in its debut season in 2013. This year it is unbeaten and Sébastien Ogier’s victory at Rally Italia Sardegna last weekend was a record breaking 10th consecutive win for the team.
“The FIA World Rally Championship is a very good platform for Volkswagen to demonstrate the efficiency, dynamics and reliability of its cars to a global public,” said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development and responsible for the programme.
“The series is more closely oriented towards the technology used in the latest production vehicles than any other world championship, and based on the kind of real conditions that our customers all over the world experience on a daily basis.”
Neußer said millions of people were passionate about WRC and the sporting contest with direct rivals in various markets, along with the huge potential for marketing in the media, led to the decision to extend the company’s commitment.
Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito said the company had never implemented a long-term motorsport programme on this scale before and the decision made the team proud.
“This faith is a huge motivation for our entire team not to rest on its laurels for a single second, but to continue to show the same degree of passion, determination and commitment to ensure we remain successful in the World Rally Championship,” he said.