Flashback to the beginning of 2017. The FIA World Rallycross Championship is celebrating its fourth year on the world stage, and things are really starting to heat up in the paddock. Right from the very start of its maiden world season in 2014, World RX has gradually been garnering the attention of automobile manufacturers. Audi, Ford and Peugeot have all established a presence in the #WorldRX service park.
As the teams begin to assemble under the Spanish sun in early April, at the Circuit de Barcelona, it’s evident that there is a serious new contender in town. Three immaculate white race-support trucks, a pristine white awning, and two imposing looking Polo GTis complete with electric blue flared arches, a matt-black centre and Monster Energy green claw slashes front and back. Volkswagen has landed.
Although technically speaking the sight of a Volkswagen Polo tearing around the circuits in the World Rallycross Championship was not something new - with a handful of privateers having fielded vehicles themselves with limited support - the 2017 emergence of the VW roundel marked something different.
Just several weeks prior to the Barcelona season opener – the covers had been pulled off the new Polo GTi rallycross challenger; which even to the casual motorsport fan bore more than a passing resemblance to the Polo WRC car - retired from the rally stages in November 2016, following the German outfit’s cancellation of their stage rally programme.