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VW pre-Deutschland16b– Spectacle in the “Arena Panzerplatte”, celebrity guests and vintage cars
– Taxi rides alongside rally legend Markku Alén in the Polo R WRC
– Great regret at cancellation of 2016 Rally China

A real highlight for Volkswagen in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC): celebrities, many vintage Volkswagens and a three-time German rally champion will add some extra glitz to the German car maker’s home event. Here is an overview of the news from the team.

Exhibition to mark 50 years of Volkswagen Motorsport, demo drives on the “Panzerplatte”

One static exhibition and one dynamic one: Volkswagen Motorsport is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the fans at its home round of the WRC. Five rare Volkswagen cars from various motorsport eras will be on display in the service park: the 2011 Race Touareg, with which Volkswagen won the Rally Dakar for the third time in a row with the driving duo of Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D); the so-called “Rheila-Golf GTI” from 1981, with which Alfons Stock/Paul Schmuck (D/D) won the German Rally Championship; a “Salzburg Beetle”, as was seen in the Group 2 class between 1971 and 1973; the legendary Bi-Motor – Golf GTI, with which Jochi Kleint (D) went in pursuit of the record on Pikes Peak in 1987; and the “A59”, as it is known internally – a prototype based on the Golf, which was designed for the World Rally Championship in 1993 but never actually used.

The “Panzerplatte” will also be graced by about 20 privately-owned vintage rally Golfs, which will complete a number of demo drives for the thousands of rally fans expected. Among the guests: the 1981 German rally champions Alfons Stock/Paul Schmuck and the 1991 champions Erwin Weber/Manfred Hiemer (D/D).

Out in front: Dieter Depping and the 1986 world championship winning Golf

Even more history: Dieter Depping (D) will lead the way in the WRC as the 0 car in Volkswagen’s first world championship winning car, the Golf II GTI. As such, it will open the route ahead of its “team-mates” Sébastien Ogier (F), Andreas Mikkelsen (N) and Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) in the three Polo R WRCs. It was with a car like this that Kenneth Eriksson/Peter Diekmann (S/D) won the Group A world championship in 1986. Depping himself is one of the most successful drivers in the history of the Rally Germany: he won the rally in 1994, 1996 and 1997. Only record world champion Sébastien Loeb has more wins to his name with nine victories in Germany.

Party atmosphere on the “Panzerplatte”: Volkswagen celebrates home race

Rally taxi rides alongside rally legend Markku Alén (FIN), fan TV on the big screen, and prominent guests – Volkswagen is well represented at the five special stages that will take place on the “Panzerplatte” at the Baumholder military training ground at the German car maker’s home round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Among the 20,000 fans expected on the Saturday of the Rally is Volkswagen Board Member for Development, Dr. Frank Welsch. Boxing world champion Marco Huck (D) will enjoy a very special ride on Thursday. He will take his place alongside Sébastien Ogier in the Polo R WRC during the Shakedown, the World Rally Championship’s free practice.
VW pre-Deutschland16a
Force majeure: Rally China cancelled following severe storm

The World Rally Championship will have to wait to return to China: a severe storm recently made large stretches of the route impassable and, in places, destroyed it completely. This made it impossible to hold the tenth round of the season from 08 to 11 September as planned.“We greatly regret that the intensive preparation put in by the organiser, promoter, FIA and teams, who have worked together to promote the return of the WRC to China, will go unrewarded,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “We would obviously have liked to start in China, and to compete in what is an enormously important market. We will now focus on the WRC returning to China next year.”

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