Volkswagen Hints At More Outings For New WRC2 Car After Debut

Volkswagen has hinted it could field a factory Polo GTI R5 on more WRC2 events or European Rally Championship rounds in 2019.

VW had initially been adamant that it would only enter "one or two rallies in key markets" with its own works team before the car became a purely customer project.

The R5 car made a successful debut with Eric Camilli and Petter Solberg in the World Rally Championship's Rally Spain round, running first and second early during the first day's running.

But Camilli retired with a broken selector rod in his gearbox and Solberg went on to finish third.

VW has now intimated that its works team will make more appearances, with Smeets hinting that future factory entries could come in mid-season European WRC rounds or ERC events in 2019.

"It won't be this year and it won't be Monte Carlo," he said. "We have customers going to Sweden so there's no point in us going there and, for sure, we won't go to the overseas events [outside Europe].

"We might go to some nice European [championship] events, maybe we'll do an Ypres or Barum [Rally Zlin] or something like that."

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VW hints at more outings for new WRC2 car

He confirmed that he wanted to continue working with Camilli and Solberg in the test programme, with both drivers potentially in line for rally outings too.

The Catalunya entry was VW's first factory rally appearance since it pulled out of the WRC at the end of 2016, when it scrapped its multiple-title-winning programme in the wake of its road car arm's emissions scandal.

VW motorsport director Sven Smeets declared himself "very, very happy" with the car's debut and said entering the rally had been much more useful than testing.

"We have learned so much more than we would on a test and that's what we were here for," Smeets told Autosport.

"We have a list of places where we know we can get quicker."

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