Roughly one month after the competitive debut of the Polo GTI R5 at the Rally Spain, Volkswagen Motorsport delivered the first customer car to the Baumschlager Rallye & Racing (BRR) team in Hannover. Team owner Raimund Baumschlager personally took part in the development of the 200-kW (272-PS) Polo GTI R5, as a test driver, and was there in person to receive his new car.
“The Polo GTI R5 heralds the start of a new chapter for Volkswagen Motorsport,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “After the homologation by the International Automobile Federation FIA and the successful competitive debut in Spain – complete with a podium result for Petter Solberg – the delivery of the first car to a customer marks the next major milestone.”
Juliane Gründl, Head of Sales at Volkswagen Motorsport, adds: “The handing over of the first Polo GTI R5 takes the new customer sport project at Volkswagen Motorsport into the next phase. Not only are we currently working hard on the production of more cars, but the logistics required to distribute spare parts all over the world are also in place.” A further ten cars are scheduled to be delivered to customers from Belgium, Italy, Finland, Paraguay, Portugal and Sweden by the end of 2018. The plan is for production and global distribution of between 30 and 40 cars per year as of 2019.
Rally debut before the end of the year
The BRR team plans to focus its activities with the Polo GTI R5 on the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), which consists of eight rounds in 2019. The R5 cars form the top category in this championship. They are actually the mandatory class of car in the U28 competition. “Two Polo GTI R5 are already earmarked for the ERC. We have at least a handful of potential interested parties for the third car,” says Baumschlager, looking ahead to future outings. “We have had a lot of enquiries from customers who enjoy a close association with Volkswagen and are very pleased that this manufacturer is now also offering a rally car.” BRR’s first Polo GTI R5 will make its debut at the Prague Rallysprint (Pražský Rallysprint) on 01 December.
The events in the European Championship are both on tarmac and gravel. That is why Baumschlager also ordered the appropriate components for both set-ups for his Polo GTI R5.
That includes, for example, different chassis
“For us, it is important that the supply of spare parts also works perfectly,” adds the 14-time Austrian national rally champion, who celebrates his 59th birthday this Saturday. “I have every faith in Volkswagen Motorsport in this regard too.”
The Polo GTI R5 has a 1.6-litre turbo engine with direct fuel injection. It generates 200 kW (272 PS). The car also has four-wheel drive. The R5 cars are relatively close to their production counterparts. They can compete in the WRC 2 category of the world championship. These cars also represent the highest class in regional championships, like the FIA European Rally Championship, and in many national championships.
Engineered, manufactured, delivered: The first #Polo #GTI #R5 has been delivered today. To @BRRBaumschlager to be precise. Yet another milestone passed for our all-new customer rally car. Good luck out there!
— VolkswagenMotorsport (@volkswagenms) November 22, 2018