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Quotes from the press conference in Munich

Eight-time world rally champion Ogier lines up at his “new home rally”. Strong support for the newest rally on the WRC calendar. Sustainability and modern hybrid technology in one captivating sport.

One more week until the journey to the Central European Rally enters the finish straight: from 26th to 29th October, the World Rally Championship (WRC) will be in the tri-border region of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic for the penultimate round of the season. Ten days before the grand “Ceremonial Start”, after which the world’s top rally drivers will tear round the special stages, a number of key protagonists looked ahead to the spectacular event: eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier (Toyota), ADAC Sport President Dr. Gerd Ennser, representing the organisers, and WRC Director Jona Siebel attended the press conference at Motorworld Munich. Here are their quotes:

ADAC Sport President Dr. Gerd Ennser: “I did not expect the fast, selective routes”

“The Central European Rally is an absolute first: for the first time a WRC rally will not only take place in three countries, but is also organised by three associations. They wanted to combine the best of three countries: the ADAC has a high level of organisational expertise, the Czechs are mad about rallying, and Austria is contributing to this rally with some beautiful routes. Personally, I was surprised that we have managed to find such fast and selective routes in Central Europe. We also want to offer the spectators an excellent service. Many spectator points have convenient car parks, LED screens, catering, sanitary facilities, and everything that this entails. One thing the visitors should not miss out on is Passau. This is obviously the location of the service park, which will be open every day, and also the big presentation ceremony in front of the town hall on the Sunday, which will be attended by prominent politicians including the Minister-President of Bavaria, Markus Söder. Even we were surprised with how much positive support the project has received from the outset – at all levels of politics and administration in all three countries. Everyone is looking forward to the WRC rally.”

“For me, one big focus of the event is on the keyword sustainability. With their hybrid drive systems, the WRC cars fit perfectly into this concept. However, the fact that the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup is part of the support programme also shows that electric cars can also be used for rallying. At big sporting events like this, much of the impact on the environment is caused by the large number of fans. This is why we are encouraging spectators to share lifts. Among other things, they could win great travel vouchers.”

Sébastien Ogier (Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team): world championship-winning cars in Munich

“Although I actually called time on my career as a full-time driver in the world championship after my title in 2021, I am taking the opportunity to contest a few selected races in a top team like Toyota. Just staying at home would be boring and, as I am a new resident of Munich, the Central European Rally is my new home rally. To be honest, I have never been to the rally region and now, since it was all officially presented, the regulations stipulate that the drivers cannot go on the routes before the official inspection. However, I am pleased that there is another completely new rally, for which there are no videos or data available. That allows you to see which crew really does the best job.”

“Over the next two weeks, visitors to Motorworld in Munich can also check out three of my world championship-winning cars: my cars from 2013, 2018 and 2021. The technology in the current WRC cars is fascinating and has changed in recent years. We are now driving hybrid cars. We just use electricity in towns and the service park. It is important that our sport is made greener. Fundamentally, however, they are just spectacular cars that have an extra boost of power, for example. I was not that enthralled by it at first, but it is fun now. The driver has to consider more carefully when he is going to use the boost.”

Jona Siebel (Managing Director WRC): 50 stations will report live on Sunday’s action alone

“Those responsible at the WRC are coming into this new event with great anticipation. We are seeing the most professional preparations and a courageous concept: three countries, together with their respective partners and organisers. We can hardly wait for the start. We are grateful to be represented in Germany again for the first time since 2019. Germany is a huge automobile market, while the Czech Republic and Austria are also important. We have 50 broadcasters reporting live and showing the highlights on 150 stations.”

“Sustainability is an unbelievably broad topic. Since 2022, we are the first world championship to use 100% fossil-free fuel. In November, we will announce a sustainability strategy. Last week, we received the 3-star accreditation from the FIA – the highest accolade in the area of sustainability.”


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