Let there be no doubt that Volkswagen drivers are maniacs behind the wheel. The FIA World Rally Championship took place in northern Portugal this week with team Volkswagen continuing its dominance over one of the most insane racing series in the world.
The Finish team of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila driving for Volkswagen roared to victory in this 3-day race that covers amazing scenery over varied terrain. In earning victory, the pair was able to secure a Volkswagen sweep, taking 1-2-3 in the 6-stage race.
Latvala and Anttila led the way since Friday, but the crashes and excitement started right from the beginning as Norwegian Mag Ostberg flipped his car in a pre-event shakedown stage. His crew was able to get the car back into working order, and later he made a tight pass around a competitor whose car had burst into flames beside the road.
Thiery Neuville and his partner came out of the race in the second stage after a dramatic roll. But in the most stunning fashion, Yari Ketomaa in the final day hit a jump sending his car into the air off-center a little bit so that when it came down onto a slope and flipped over. A tire came shooting off and the car slid down the track on its hood for several hundred feet before coming to rest.
After the event, Latvala told reporters that he was relieved to win the race.
“I am really happy,” he said in a press conference. “The presure coming out of my shoulders is enormous. The confidence has been really on the bottom and then climbing the hill to win is great.”
The series heads next to Sardinia in the 6th round of racing this year on June 11-14.
For a look behind the scenes on what it takes to build a rally car, check out this video from RedBull.
Photo credit: Youtube screenshot