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Volkswagen confirms WRC exit

2 November 2016

Four-time World Rally Champion Volkswagen will cease its WRC operations at the end of the 2016 season, despite having developed a new car for 2017.

The team wrapped up its fourth World Rally Constructor’s Championship at Wales Rally GB, taking top honours in every WRC championship since 2013.

“We far exceeded our sporting goals in the WRC, now we are realigning Volkswagen Motorsport and moving the vehicle technology of the future more starkly into focus,” said Frank Welsch, member of the Volkswagen Board of Management responsible for technical development.

Unlike Audi, which announced that it is withdrawing from WEC at the end of the season, the VW squad has been working on a car for the next generation of WRC technical regulations which come into effect in 2017.

All of the German marque’s motorsport employees have been guaranteed employment.

“The team has done great things,” claimed Sven Smeets, motorsport director at Volkswagen. “At the same time, our vision is firmly ahead, because we are aware of the great challenges facing the entire company. We want our realignment to contribute to the success of the Volkswagen brand. From now on, the focus is on upcoming technologies in motorsport and on our customer sports range, where we will position ourselves more broadly and attractively.”

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