Our last hope of seeing a Polo R in the World Rally Championship this year is now gone. Qatari sportsman Nasser Al-Attiyah now says that there wasn’t enough time to get the car racing this season, but that there is hope for 2018.

Al-Attiyah worked hard with VW to draw up a deal for the coming season, but with the season opening in Monte Carlo later this month, there just wasn’t enough time to get all their ducks in a row.

“The talks came when there were some celebrations in Qatar, and that didn’t help us that much,” Al-Attiyah told motorsport.com. “The idea was welcomed in Qatar. But unfortunately we were not able to keep Ogier waiting for a long time.”

2015 Rally Germany Panzerplatte Sébastien Ogier Julien Ingrassia (FF) Volkswagen Polo R WRC  Photo Kräling

The news reveals that Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen were projected drivers for the new team, which helps explain why both drivers waited so long to reveal their 2017 plans. With Ogier choosing to race a Ford Fiesta WRC at M-Sport, though, the plan couldn't be held together.

Unfortunately, it seems that Andreas Mikkelsen, who finished this season in third place, got the worst of the deal, as he is left without a WRC seat, and must instead race for Skoda’s WRC2 team.

Al-Attiyah expressed regret that the team could not be formed in time to race this season, but was confident that the Polo R would race again. “We’ll work on this project in early 2017 in order to make it a reality for 2018,” he said.

[source: motorsport.com ]