sport

Volkswagen out to finish in style

Volkswagen are hoping to add the World Rally Championship manufacturers' title to Sebastien Ogier's drivers' crown this weekend.

The German manufacturer have ended Citroen's nine-year dominance of the series during their first full campaign, with Ogier announcing himself as the natural successor to the brilliant Sebastien Loeb.

Victory in France last time out was enough to give Ogier an unassailable 95-point lead at the head of the standings with just two rounds remaining.

It also put Volkswagen on the verge of securing glory in the race for the manufacturers' title, and a seventh-placed finish will be enough to put them out of the reach of Citroen.

"Seventh place is all we need to claim the world championship title", said Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito told www.wrc.com.

""If things go as normal, we'll manage that in Spain. It really would be the icing on the cake if we were to achieve this in our debut season - we would never even have dreamed of it at the beginning.

"The whole team will give their all once again to make sure that nothing out of the ordinary happens. There is no weak point in our team, and I'm really proud of that."

This weekend's event provides a challenge for the drivers in the form of its mixed surfaces.

The first two days will be run on asphalt before switching to gravel for the final day.

Currently the running order for day one will be in championship order, before positions on the road dictate matters for days two and three.

But, with the disadvantage caused by running first on gravel, effectively acting as a road sweeper for those behind, Citroen's Dani Sordo is concerned drivers will deliberately drop time late on day two in an effort to avoid being on the road early on day three.

Organisers had asked to be allowed to change the road order rules due to the circumstances of the weekend, but the request was turned down by the FIA.

He said: "I'm really disappointed that there is no reclassification at the end of the second leg. What is the point in pushing hard, building up a good lead, if you then find yourself first on the road, sweeping the line for your rivals on the Sunday?"