Two-time world rally champ Carlos Sainz has been with Volkswagen Motorsport for a few years now. He won the Dakar Rally with the team in 2010 and has been heavily involved in the development of the new Polo R WRC.
Here’s what he had to say when comparing the early tests with the Touareg and the Polo: “Dakar is very different, but when we started with the Touareg we actually had quite a few little problems and we needed to work hard to find a solution. I wouldn’t say that we were competitive straight away in Dakar.
“Here, from what I can see, it should be different. You never know, but I think that the Polo will be fast from the beginning. My feeling with all the tests was very positive.”
Based on nothing other than gut feeling, we tend to agree with Sainz’s view. Through their Dakar success, Volkswagen has shown it’s got what it takes to produce race-winning machinery. And while a championship win for Volkswagen in the 2013 WRC may be bordering the realm of fantasy, we expect they might win a race or two.