VW shelves Polo WRC plans

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Volkswagen has abandoned plans to get its 2017-spec Polo World Rally Car out on WRC stages this year after it fell foul of FIA homologation regulations.

The German firm ended its manufacturer WRC programme at the end of last season, but later confirmed that it hoped to offer its all-new Polo to private teams that could run it in the WRC with support from Volkwagen Motorsport.

However, before the car could compete in the WRC Volkswagen needed to find a way to complete the homologation process that it stopped last year.

Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets confirmed that efforts to do this had failed.

“Following customer enquiries, Volkswagen Motorsport asked the FIA for a waiver of the homologation of the 2017 Volkswagen Polo World Rally Car, with the purpose being to rent it out to private drivers and teams," he said.

"It now turns out that this is not possible under the current WRC regulations. We fully accept the result, but at the same time regret it in the interests of our customers. We would like to thank the FIA for the very constructive discussions.”

Defending champion Sébastien Ogier was linked to a drive in a privately-entered Polo before he signed with M-Sport and his former team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen admitted after Rallye Monte Carlo that he hoped this year to be reunited with the car he helped to develop before it was mothballed.

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