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May 6, 2011

Rallying: Volkswagen commits to WRC

As MINI copes with its rallying return this weekend in Sardinia, where Rally of Italy takes place, Volkswagen announced this Thursday its intention to enter World Rally Championship for three seasons, between 2013 and 2015.

The car used will be brand new Volkswagen Polo R WRC, instead of rumoured New Beetle or Scirocco, due to its similarities with Skoda Fabia S2000, whose development will surely help German manufacturer. Nevertheless, in the press conference it was also said that some 2012 WRC outings could be possible with Czech cars, in order to train.

No drivers were confirmed, although drivers like Nasser Al-Qassimi (2011 Dakar Rally winner and SWRC driver), Juho Hänninen (2010 IRC champion, Skoda factory driver in both SWRC and IRC) and Hermann Gassner Jr. (Skoda SWRC driver) are tipped for Polo drives, but number one driver is still to be signed, and he could have French nationality...

Until drivers are signed, development will begin, with first tests announced for the end of this year, and where Carlos Sainz, who will be Volkswagen assistant in this new adventure, as German manufacturer leaves Dakar Rally, could be one of the firsts to drive the new World Rally Car.

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