2017 VW Polo R WRC will not race in the championship. The FIA ruled against its homologation after discussions with Volkswagen.
The Wolfsburg team left the World Rally Championship at the end of the 2016 season. The car was ready and the test program – completed but the new Polo did not pass the homologation process. Nasser All Attiyah delayed his project to race the new VW for 2018. Andreas Mikkelsen was still hoping something could be done for 2017 for at least three events. FIA’s ruling puts an end to the Norwegian’s efforts.
“We asked the FIA for a waiver of the homologation of the 2017 Volkswagen Polo World Rally Car, with the purpose being to rent it out to private drivers and teams”, Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets explained for Autosport. “It now turns out that this is not possible under the current WRC regulations. We fully accept the result, but at the same time regret it in the interests of our customers.”
Smeets thanked the FIA for the constructive discussions.
FIA ruling states the new VW Polo R WRC homologation is not possible under the current WRC regulations
At the end of 2016 VW Group motorsport boss Wolfgang Dürheimer explained that securing a backer for the new Polo R WRC was priority but only if it does not cost the manufacturer any money.
“I am working on it and have always been supportive of having the cars competing despite our withdrawal as a factory team. The most important factor is that any project cannot cost us any money, but if the right deal can be found then we will help in any way we can by sub-contracting VW Motorsport staff to help run and develop the cars. Whatever they want, our expertise will be available to hire”, he said then.
Mikkelsen won the WRC2 category at Rally Monte Carlo in January as a Skoda guest driver. He might have more appearances for the team after the VW plans falling through. For Sweden Andreas will be guest commentator for Red Bull TV.