Volkswagen to end WRC programme over Dieselgate


Volkswagen is set to announce its departure from the World Rally Championship (WRC), following Volkswagen Group’s cost-cutting measures that have seen Audi confirm its withdrawal from the World Endurance Championship (WEC) by the end of the year, according to an Autocar report.

It has been suggested that chairman Matthias Mueller will announce the end to the brand’s successful WRC programme as a direct result of the financial strain placed on the company in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal. The announcement is expected to be made prior to the final round of the WRC season in Australia on November 17.

Suggestions that Mueller might grant a one-year grace period for the termination of Volkswagen’s WRC programme were quashed by sources, saying that this decision is likely to be taken in a similar manner to Audi’s, which is to be effective by the end of 2016, not 2017. Audi’s departure from top-flight endurance racing will see it focus its efforts in Formula E, increasing its involvement in Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport to a full, factory-backed programme.

“It is disappointing. The guys at Volkswagen have done a great job,” said a separate source involved in Volkswagen Group Motorsport operations. Since joining the WRC as a fully manufacturer-backed entry in 2013, Volkswagen has racked up four constructors’ titles and four drivers’ championships back to back.

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.



  • Mikey on Nov 01, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I Say Man VW. What a way to part company with a successful team comprising of top drivers & its team. It is understandable to cut cost BUT to disband a TOP Team of Drivers & Teams is entirely different issue all together.

    Am sure Toyota will listen to it as Music to its Ears. Toyota WRC team will/can takeover all Lock, Stock & Barrel thanks/courtesy of VW cost cutting measures.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
    • Kunta bin Kinte on Nov 01, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Better end your presence in Malaysia. Malaysians may not have Dieselgate but we have DSG Gate. My buddy last week, 2015 car also have to change his DSG.

      Yes he use Mineral Oil. Yet he stuck in the highway at 2am in the morning waiting for the PLUS or hantu to come and help him

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 17
      • Mikey on Nov 01, 2016 at 1:14 pm

        Kunta, FYI, I’m NOT a VW representative. If U want to complain, pls go to VW (M). If U have a bone to pick with me, I’ll gladly supply one.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4
        • VW already very well-known as DISCOUNT BRAND in Malaysia even before dieselgate. With DSG fiasco and all the bad repos, 2014/2015 old stocks with BIG-BIG DISCOUNT also no people dare to buy now. VGM should shut production and import base on order la. And VPCM gotta choose seriously: “NO DISCOUNT” or “NO SALES”

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7
          • Kunta Kinte on Nov 01, 2016 at 2:29 pm

            VW themselves throw prices with firesales. You buy today RM180k, next 4 months later you cry. Cause VW themselves will sell the same car for RM120k. Down RM60k

            What happens in 2nd hand market? Well, the car you bought for RM180k will now be worth RM70k in 1 year.

            Record breaking. In 1 year, car can drop from RM180k to RM70k

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
          • Price mismanagement. Best way to annoy existing owners and scare off new buyers :D

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5
      • MeToo on Nov 01, 2016 at 2:14 pm

        Its a well known problem, your friend sendiri padan muka still go buy

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
      • segway on Nov 01, 2016 at 4:15 pm

        The problem is, too many college kids paid to be keyboard warriors here. Please start commenting only after you own a “real” car :-)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0
  • VW must be the only car co to racked up four constructors’ titles & four drivers’ WRC championships back to back to give up/surrender the title without a fight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • They retired undefeated. Thats something most champions cud not do. They hold on and keep competing until overtaken by last place

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
  • Leonardo on Nov 01, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    So I guess Seb Lobb and Citreon’s record of 9 WRC titles will remain intact for a very long time.
    Where will Seb Ogier and navigator go to? Ford, Hyundai or the new Toyota team to beat Seb Lobb’s record?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • intermilan on Nov 01, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Suspect VW realised that the 2017 wrc car that Citroen are now preparing is much better than their’s and decided to use ‘cost saving’ as an excuse to exit WRC at a high without having to face and get beat by Citroen next year.

      If this is true, will Ogier now kiss Citroen ass for a drive in 2017?

      I think they might just welcome him back even after what he did (been impatient and then joint VW after years of development under Citroen).

      But if pride were not put aside, he will never drive for Citroen ever again… coz what he did back then was massive betrayal. Big budget VW win from 2013 until now while cash-strapped Citroen losing their way since then and even had to leave WRC.

      VW will not be this successful without Ogier. So if this is true, Ogier ‘the betrayer’ will be left high and dry after bringing huge success to VW. Will Ogier feel betrayed by this?

      Ogier surely a great rally driver but one thing I dont like about Ogier is his lack of respect for Loeb.
      What a shame.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • donno on Nov 01, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Easy, rebadge and facelift the Polo WRC as the Skoda Fabia or Seat Ibiza and continue rallying in 2017.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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