First place in the Manufacturers’ Championship, first and second in the Drivers’ Championship: the Volkswagen Motorsport team, powered by Castrol EDGE, couldn’t have hoped for a better start to their title defence in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Three races into the 13-round season, defending World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier is currently dominating the opposition in his new, 318-hp Volkswagen Polo R WRC. Regardless of the conditions, the winners in the World Rally Championship could always rely on Castrol EDGE for maximum performance, durability and reliability. The WRC standings meant that Ogier was the first driver on the road on the opening two days of all three rallies so far this season in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Mexico, but the flying Frenchman took this in his stride and has mastered the thankless task of sweeping the road brilliantly.
Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia (FRA) have started the season with three wins in three rallies: among their vanquished opponents at the Rally Monte Carlo was record breaking nine times World Champion Sébastien Loeb. In Sweden they came out on top in a nail-biting finale, overcoming their team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (NOR/NOR) on the very last special stage. Then the French duo made it three wins in a row in Mexico. “Absolutely incredible! I am so happy and proud of this victory in Mexico. It is one of the best wins of my career. Julien and I had a perfect weekend, our Castrol EDGE-powered Polo was fantastic, and the team did a magnificent job,” said Ogier. “We could hardly have made a better start to the season. Now we travel to the fourth round in Argentina, where we will once again do our utmost to win, with three victories and 81 points to our name.”
Meanwhile keep your eye on Mikkelsen: the youngster in the Volkswagen team has continued his upward trend in results, which began with five podiums in the 2014 season. Since the start of this year, the Norwegian has finished third on every round of the WRC, thus scoring valuable points towards the Drivers’ Championship. Ahead of the fourth event, which takes place in Argentina (23rd-26th April), Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Fløene find themselves second behind Ogier in the Drivers’ Championship. “Andreas and Ola have made a very good impression,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito (DEU), praising his Norwegian duo. “Who would have thought that our youngster would emerge as Seb’s closest rival? Three rallies, three podiums: Andreas has once again taken a step forward in his development as a rally driver this season, and is driving at a high level more consistently than ever. Volkswagen Motorsport once again leads all three WRC competitions. That is only possible with a well-oiled team, in which all the cogs interact like clockwork. We have been able to trust 100 percent in our partners. It is good to know that in Castrol EDGE, we have a perfectly matched engine oil for the Polo R WRC.”
We have been able to trust 100 percent in our partners. It is good to know that in Castrol EDGE, we have a perfectly matched engine oil for the Polo R WRC.Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
Volkswagen’s World Rally Car, the second generation of which is once again supplied with high-performance lubricants from Castrol, has also been on impressive form. Of the nine possible podiums so far this season, the Volkswagen Polo R WRC has claimed a proud seven. When the season kicked off with the legendary Rally Monte Carlo, the Polo R WRC monopolised the podium, finishing first, second and third. A dream start, you could say. Working closely together, the Volkswagen Motorsport team and the experts at Castrol plan and prepare meticulously to get the most possible performance out of the Polo R WRC.
The engine is lubricated by Castrol EDGE – Castrol’s strongest engine oil, which, thanks to its TITANIUM FST™ additives, significantly reduces the friction between the metal surfaces in the engine, thus effectively protecting the engine during peak performance. And Castrol also supplies Volkswagen’s world rally cars with its premium product when it comes to brake fluid. Castrol React SRF Racing ensures maximum performance and safety under the extreme conditions encountered when racing.
Volkswagen Motorsport and Castrol are brimming with confidence as they head into the main phase of the 2015 WRC season, which features five gravel rallies in Argentina, Portugal (21st-24th May), Italy (11th-14th June), Poland (2nd-5th July), and Finland (30th July-2nd August), before the first asphalt round at Rally Germany (20th-23th August). No matter what the WRC standings look like by that point, one thing is certain: Volkswagen and Castrol EDGE will use all their motorsport expertise and do everything in their power to continue the run of success they have enjoyed at the start of the season.