After four years and twelve titles, Volkswagen withdrew from the World Rally Championship. Three days after winning the fourth brand title in Wales, the automaker announced its departure from the series at the end of this season. The company wants to “focus on new technologies and customer service” from 2017 onwards. Volkswagen said in a statement that it would focus on developing Polo R5 car for customer use.
According to the VW executive committee Welsch, the Motorsport employees still have an employment guarantee. Volkswagen entered the World Championship in 2013 and had won all four championships ever since with the rally version of the Polo. The Wolfsburg racers participated in 51 WRC rallies winning 42 out of them. The Frenchman Sebastien Ogier and his co-pilot Julien Ingrassia were four times successively world champion in the drivers ‘and co-drivers’ ranking. The farewell presentation will be presented by Volkswagen at the Rally Australia on 20 November. It is already speculated that Ogier will return to his old employer Citroen and thus remain in the Rally World Cup.
The rally World Cup exit also fits the decision of Audi from last week. The VW brand announced to withdraw from the long-distance World Championship WEC and after 18 years.