After deciding to conclude their World Endurance Racing program which also includes Audi’s Le Mans team, Volkswagen is now putting an end to their World Rally Championship program. And just like Audi which was doing extremely well at Le Mans, the VW Polo WRC team too was dominating the WRC scene since it signed on in 2013. In fact they were doing well that they brought home the Driver’s and Manufacturer’s titles for four years back-to-back. This makes the news all the more devastating for motorsports enthusiasts who will be getting to see VW in WRC for the very last time in November 2016.
An official statement from VW’s motorsport boss, Sven Smeets says, “Of course, we regret the departure from the WRC very much—as this was the most successful chapter in the Volkswagen brand’s motorsport history. At the same time, our vision is firmly ahead… From now on, the focus is on upcoming technologies in motorsport and on our customer sports range, where we will position ourselves more broadly and attractively.”
The Volkswagen’s exit from WRC is of course another repercussion to the Dieselgate scandal which has been tightening its grip around the auto giant’s neck for some time. However, the company has announced that no job cuts will be made because of the conclusion of its WRC operations. VW will continue to develop rally cars for customer teams and is also in the process of building a new VW Polo rally car which meets R5 specifications. They will also be working on the Global RallyCross program with plans to expand its scale and scope.