The story of Volkswagen in the WRC ended with an exclamation mark. Andreas Mikkelsen gave the most successful car in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) a worthy send-off with another win at the Rally Australia. Victory in the Polo R WRC’s 52nd rally was both spectacular and hard-fought. It featured a close battle with Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier.
“What a fantastic weekend, and what a wonderful result at the end of our season. Today has been a very special day, as it was our last appearance as a team. I was so desperate to win this rally for Volkswagen. It is fantastic to have achieved that. Volkswagen is the team that gave me the opportunity to step up into the top class of the WRC. They put a lot of faith in me and made so much possible for me. They will always have a special place in my heart.”
“Everything came together at the final rally. Everything, absolutely everything, worked perfectly – it was simply the optimum of what we have achieved together in four years in the World Rally Championship. On the one hand, it is a bit of a shame that we just missed out on second place in the championship. On the other hand, that is not so important. If I had been given the choice of winning our final rally together or finishing runner-up in the world championship, I would always have chosen the win.”
Mixed emotions – victory at @RallyAustralia and last win for @VolkswagenRally ! #WRC #Volkswagen #RallyAustralia #EVENpower pic.twitter.com/gCzVvxcli8
— Andreas Mikkelsen (@AMikkelsenRally) 20 November 2016
#WRC – it is a family. @MSportLtd & @HMSGOfficial line up to pay tribute to @VolkswagenRally as @AMikkelsenRally leaves for the last time.❤️ pic.twitter.com/o3Uf5cIsc4
— Becs Williams (@Becsywecsy) 20 November 2016
“I was a bit wide exiting a left-hander at the end of the ‘Wedding Bells’ stage, and spun. In the huge dust cloud, it took me a few moments to work out where the road was. We lost almost 20 seconds as a result. However, I have no regrets. Julien and I were really going for it all weekend, and had had a great battle with Andreas up to that point. He deserved the win. The most important thing is that our fantastic team bids farewell to the World Rally Championship with a victory.”
“This is a very emotional moment for me. I have so much to thank the team for. Volkswagen Motorsport has been like a family to Julien and me. I have made a lot of friends and will never forget the wonderful moments we have had together over the past few years. A fantastic journey is coming to an end, and I am proud to have been a part of it.”
Thierry Neuville finished third in Australia and took second place in the 2016 WRC. Fourth and fifth were his Hyundai teammates Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo.