FIA Puts Final Nail in Polo WRC’s Coffin

The long saga of the 2017 Volkswagen Polo R is finally over. The FIA has ruled not to homologate the car, which means that it won’t be allowed to race in any rallies this season.

The decision comes following two weeks of meetings between the World Rally Championship’s governing body and Volkswagen Motorsport. After a meeting in Monaco proved that some manufacturers, namely Hyundai, were uneasy about homologating the Polo—a move that would have been unusual given the circumstances—the FIA has decided not to approve the car for competition.

“Following customer inquiries, 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,” said Sven Smeets, director of Volkswagen Motorsports. “It now turns out that this is not possible under the current WRC regulations.”

With one round of the WRC season already complete, and no team able to rent the car for the full season anyway, the decision has little impact on this season’s drivers’ or teams’ championships. That said, it does affect at least one driver’s season, Andreas Mikkelsen.

Mikkelsen drove for VW last season and finished the season in third place, but hoping for a seat in privately run Polo, failed to secure himself a ride with another manufacturer, as his two teammates did. Despite that, Mikkelsen had not given up hope and intended to race the Polo in a handful of rallies this season.

Now, Mikkelsen will have to make other plans for this season and may find his way back into the seat of a Skoda in WRC2.

[source: Autosport]