Speed Reports Progress from Volkswagen Test in Portugal
Last weekend, Andretti Autosport drivers Scott Speed and Tanner Foust traveled to Portugal to test the Volkswagen Polo that they will use in the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season opener at Top Gear Festival Barbados. After multiple days of testing at Eurocircuito de Lousada, Speed, who won two GRC races in 2013 on the way to a fifth place points finish, expressed comfort with his new ride.
“I’d say so far, so good. It’s difficult to judge that when you don’t have other cars out there putting down lap times, but from my feel perspective, it is honestly a lot better (than last year’s car). So I’m cautiously optimistic,” Speed said.
Numerous Volkswagen Motorsport technicians were on hand working with Speed and Foust, as were members of Marklund Motorsport, which built the cars last year. Volkswagen Motorsport is coming off of a successful 2013 season that saw the team win the World Rally Championship with driver Sebastien Ogier, while Marklund earned multiple top five finishes in four X Games appearances in 2013 with an all-star list of drivers that included Carlos Sainz and Buddy Rice.
Speed confirmed that the goal of the test was to develop a plan for the brand new Beetle, which is scheduled to make its debut after the GRC season opener, but the work done on the Polo will prove beneficial as well.
“The people from Volkswagen (were there) to come with a plan for the Beetle,” he continued. “In any case, it has inherently made the Polo a lot better than it was, and now they’ve got a really good idea on exactly how they want to design the Beetle and get it going.
“There’s no question that the Polo is still very much an intermediate ride for us, just to get us by until the Beetle gets here. But the effort that has gone into it is super valuable for us.”
Click the video above for an on-board view of Scott Speed’s test session at Eurocircuito de Lousada.
Images via Scott Speed