Wolfsburg (August 21, 2011). Successful home round for Volkswagen: The Volkswagen factory team finished the test run at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), by taking two podium places.
The junior duo of Hans Weijs Jr./Bjoern Degandt (NL/B) showed a widely noted performance and occupied second place in the Super 2000 group. Their team-mates Christian Riedemann/Michael Wenzel (D/D) came third and, by finishing in 15th place overall, were the best German team in the whole field. From 2013 on, Volkswagen will contest the WRC with the newly developed Polo R WRC. In preparation for the new commitment the team headed by Motorsport Director Kris Nissen is fielding two Fabia S2000 of the Volkswagen Group's Skoda brand at selected events. At these runs various young drivers are given the opportunity to prove their skills in the cockpit of the near-270-hp four-wheel-drive vehicles and to get a first-hand impression of how the factory teams operate.
"Our test run at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland went without the slightest problems and again provided us with many new findings. After three victories at the Dakar Rally we've got to re-organize ourselves in some areas and gather as much experience as possible. Our team had done a good job of preparing itself and accomplished the mission without making any mistakes,”said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "Well done also to our young drivers and their co-drivers who perfectly gelled with the team and did an outstanding job of achieving our aim of finishing the event with both cars. In addition, driving in front of a home audience has been a positive experience for our team. Volkswagen is delighted about the many rally fans and we've gained the impression here that this also the case the other way around.”
Hans Weijs Jr. contested the three-day Germany Rally for the fourth time but for the first in a real factory team. "This is a very special experience as a lot of the work is taken care of by the team and you can fully concentrate on driving. We found the right pace early on and then aimed to safely reach the finish. That in the end we finished as the runners-up in the Super 2000 group is a nice reward,” said the 24-year-old Dutchman who together with his Belgian co-driver Bjoern Degandt was among the front runners of his vehicle class on many of the special stages and took 13th place overall.
For Riedemann and Wenzel the change required for the Volkswagen assessment run was particularly great as the two are normally competing in the WRC Academy, the WRC's junior class, in a 150-hp vehicle with front-wheel drive. "We first had to adjust to the much faster and more powerful car, but then we found a good rhythm and were able to improve,” commented the 23-year-old who drove the tarmac rally around Trier for the second time. "We felt very comfortable in the team and the commitment was very valuable for us – from the tests and optimal preparation of the car through to the perfect service during the rally,” said Riedemann