After their shocking pull-out from the World Rally Championship nobody thought Volkswagen was coming back any day soon. Especially, as their exit came after winning both the drivers’ and teams’ championships four years in a row. Originally, the consensus around people was that they were downsizing their involvement in motorsport. This however doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
A car producer to WRC2
After only 5 months since VW announced its retirement from WRC, the German car maker is planning a return to the sport. This time however, it would be one series lower in WRC2 as a car producer for customer teams. The idea is that Volkswagen produces Polo R5 rally cars for customer teams in the WRC2. According to Volkswagen’s sport director Sven Smeets, the development of anew Polo rally car is already under way. There is no confirmation from the manufacturer, the FIA or WRC on the schedule of the return. Most of the speculations point to 2018 and that could be right. Volkswagen will begin testing their new car in autumn this year.
A new manufacturer is badly needed in WRC2 as the Czech car maker Skoda has dominated the series with their Fabia R5. In fact, a Skoda Fabia has won 13 out of the last 14 rallies and for example Toyota’s protégé Esapekka Lappi won last year’s WRC2 series with Skoda Motorsport.