Depping and co-driver Gottschalk are a well-established team: they drove together for Volkswagen in 2009 in the Dakar Rally with a Race Touareg, before subsequently sitting in the cockpit together for the development of the Polo R WRC and the Polo GTI R5. “I have driven thousands of test kilometres with the Polo. To now also drive our customer vehicle in a competition is a great honour for me,” says Depping. The man from Lower Saxony already knows a small part of the total twelve special stages (with a total length of 148.34 kilometres), having driven the Dakar-winning Race Touareg as a non-classified advance car in 2012 – much to the delight of the fans.
“Obviously our focus is on the detailed test programme that we will be working on during the rally,” anticipates Depping. “That said, I’m very excited to see how we match up against the other teams in the German Rally Championship. And because the rally runs in front of the gates of the Volkswagen factory in Zwickau, hopefully we can expect the support of our home fans!”
Among the competition is also a Volkswagen Motorsport customer. The Belgian BMA team and team principal Bernhard Munster will take part for the first time with a Polo GTI R5 for the Lower Saxons Christian Riedemann and co-driver Michael Wenzel.