VW Polo R impresses in WRC

21 January, 2013 | by Lance Branquinho

This year is supposed to be different. The dominance of one Sébastien should have been exchanged for another.

We are of course referring to the WRC championship and the semi-retirement of its nine-time world champion colossus of opposite-lock and left-foot braking: Sébastien Loeb.

Loeb’s erstwhile Citroen team mate, countryman and nemesis, Sébastien Ogier is supposed to be winning for France. But the elder Sébastien is having none of it and won a snowy Monte Carlo rally; WRC 2013’s opening round, this weekend.

Driving rain and way too much snow turned the mostly tarmac stages into a concrete soap ring. Though Loeb tallied his 77th WRC win, the younger Sébastien was second – an impressive showing for the new VW Polo R, which looks absolutely fantastic. Ogier’s team mate, Finn Jari-Matti Latvala (considering by some to be the fastest rally driver around), was excellent in the typically arctic condition until crashing heavily on the final day.

Citroën’s Dani Sordo gained third place with the man many regard as a certainty for the 2013 driver’s title, Mikko Hirvonen, finishing fourth.

All told the testing weather conditions enabled teams to gain snow testing rally time, apt preparation for the WRC’s next event: Rally Sweden, to be contested during the second weekend of February.

Driver’s championship
1. Sébastien Loeb – 25 points
2. Sébastien Ogier – 18
3. Dani Sordo – 15
4. Mikko Hirvonen – 12
5. Bryan Bouffer – 10

Manufacturer’s championship
1. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi – 37 points
2. Volkswagen Motorsport – 18
3. Abu Dhabi Citroën Total – 15
4. Qatar M-Sport – 10
5. Lotus Team WRC – 8



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