Wolfsburg (04 December 2011). Volkswagen celebrates with the Champion of Champions: Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen factory driver since 23 November for the World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC, emerged victorious in his first outing in the Race Of Champions. In the finale the 27-year old Frenchman clearly beat eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen who had previously beaten Michael Schumacher in the semi-final.
Sébastien Ogier, who will contest the WRC from 2013 for Volkswagen, demonstrated his outstanding driving abilities during the live broadcast on SAT.1 and inspired around 40,000 enthusiastic spectators in the Arena in Düsseldorf. During the competition staged between the world’s best drivers, Volkswagen’s new rally star was the fastest in the field comprised of Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button as well as DTM Champions Martin Tomczyk, Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekström and other motorsport greats. Among the race cars used for the Race Of Champions were the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup, Audi R8 LMS and the rally Skoda Fabia S2000.
Sébastien Ogier: “My first outing in Volkswagen overalls and this in Germany and then victory in the Race Of Champions – I’m absolutely delighted. They were exciting races against fantastic opponents. It’s not easy for a newcomer to master the many different cars and the track, but I had a good feeling from the word go. It was a great honour for me to be invited for the first time to participate in the Race Of Champions. My thanks also go to the fans that made the atmosphere electric.” Even the beaten Kristensen admitted afterwards: “Sébastien really impressed me and he certainly has a big future ahead of him in rallying with Volkswagen.”
“The entire Volkswagen team is proud of our new Champion and is delighted with Sébastien about this magnificent win. It’s obviously fantastic that Ogier has won the first prestigious title for Volkswagen only two weeks after his signing. And this against a line-up of such high quality,” praised Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.
Matthäus, Pocher, Wörner and Co stage action packed up! celebrity race
Acid test survived! In the up! VIP race supporting the Race Of Champions the new small car from Volkswagen impressed in the hot battles between the VIPs. Football legend Lothar Matthäus, TV entertainers Oliver Pocher and Joko Winterscheidt were defeated in a thrilling team duel against the racy ladies selection consisting of actress Natalia Wörner, musician Lucy from ‘No Angels’ and moderator Verena Wriedt.
The six celebrity drivers contested the VIP team-duel relay race around the track in the Düsseldorf Esprit Arena with two up! cars modified for racing. For the racing premiere the two 60 hp up! were equipped with a roll-cage and race seats including 6-point harness. Prices for Volkswagen’s small car start at 9,850 Euro and are available with economical
60 hp engines. The up! also celebrated its dealer premiere throughout Europe at the weekend.
Tim Mälzer cooking show, Ebel talk with Striezel Stuck, Jacky Ickx and Kris Nissen
There was also plenty in store on the support programme for the many Volkswagen guests. Television chef and self-confessed car fan Tim Mälzer conjured culinary delights during Sunday’s show cooking. Formula 1 cult reporter ‘Mr. Pitlane’ Kai Ebel held entertaining interviews with motorsport greats such as Striezel Stuck, Le Mans legend Jacky Ickx and Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.
Comments about the up! VIP race:
Lothar Matthäus, football World Cup winner and record national player: “Driving is generally a lot of fun for me, but there is an amazing atmosphere here at the Race Of Champions. It was actually an unequal contest: we know that women are the rather more circumspect drivers and men the more aggressive. For this reason the result was a surprise, but it was still a lot of fun.”
Oliver Pocher, TV entertainer: “This is how it is when you’re around women – we men were certain of victory and then the result was the opposite. But I hope that my personal performance as official up! test driver will encourage Volkswagen to use my talents for other events.”
Natalia Wörner, actress: “It was clear to me from the beginning that we would win – women can handle the pressure better, and this pays dividends in front of such a fantastic crowd. We quickly had to get used to the track and the race up! but it looks like we managed very well. The race against the men was really great fun.”
Lucy ‘No Angels’, musician: “I’m obviously delighted that we beat the guys! For Olli and Lothar I can imagine that the football results were more important, but we still wanted to win. The race was great fun. The up! was perfect for the tight indoor track in the Arena because it is so small and agile. It was almost comparable with a kart track. I’ve already configured an up! – in red, it’s a colourful, cheerful car. For me it’s a car of the future, small, light and efficient.”
Joko Winterscheidt, TV moderator: “The race in the team with Lothar and Oli was fantastic, the up! was incredible fun to drive – now I really feel at home in a race car. I’d really love to test the Scirocco R on the race track soon.”