Volkswagen claims maiden World Rally Championship victory

Ogier beats Loeb by 41.8sec
Feb 12, 2013
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Volkswagen has exceeded its expectations in its debut season in the 2013 World Rally Championship by winning in only its second race at the 61st Rally Sweden, with Sebastien Ogier behind the wheel of the victorious Polo R WRC car.

"This is a big day for Volkswagen in motorsport," said Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito. "To win the second round of the World Rally Championship under our own steam is a real milestone. The Rally Sweden is one of a kind. The Polo R WRC worked perfectly in these conditions, and Sebastien took full advantage. He was in a class of his own here."

Ogier's first-place finish came despite the tough challenge put on by his competitors, including nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, who finished the race in second place, 41.8 seconds behind Ogier. Ogier's victory also takes a special place in the WRC's history books as he is only the second Central European to win the Rally Sweden since 1950 after Loeb's 2004 victory. The race was traditionally won by drivers from either Sweden, Norway or Finland.

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"That was an indescribable feeling," said Ogier after the race. "We were screaming with joy in the car. It is simply incredible to claim the first victory for Volkswagen and the team at only our second rally. The Polo R WRC was perfect the entire time. The guys did a fantastic job of preparing the car. So much can happen in Sweden. The conditions in the snow are so difficult--winning here, as only the second Central European and ahead of the best rally driver of all time, makes me enormously proud."

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