Belfast Telegraph

Marty gets vote, but VW drive still on ice

By Sammy Hamill

Marty McCormack has come out joint top in a poll to find a driver who deserves to be included in Volkswagen’s talent search as they prepare to return to the world rally stage.

The German company plans to join the World championship in 2013 with a Polo R WRC car, but in the meantime they are using sister company Skoda to assess up-and-coming drivers.

VW began their search in Finland last week where they entered two S2000 Skoda Fabias for Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen and Finn Joonas Lindroos and will repeat the exercise on the next World championship round, Rally Deutschland, with Dutch driver Hans Weijs Jr and German Christian Reidermann.

WRC.com, the official World championship website, conducted an online poll during last week’s Rally Finland after asking a group of top motorsport journalists to nominate 10 drivers who deserved a place in the VW talent search.

The nominated 10 included drivers from across Europe and beyond, but 25-year-old McCormack, from Draperstown, emerged in top place alongside Belgium’s Thierry Neuville.

McCormack, currently leading the Formula 2 category in the British championship in a Citroen DS3 run by the French Sainteloc team, is amazed to have topped the poll.

“I was surprised to have been included among the 10 nominated drivers and astonished to have come out on top alongside someone like Thierry Neuville who is a rally winner in the Intercontinental Challenge,” he said.

VW are planning to run two Skodas in the British round of the World championship, Wales Rally GB, in November and the poll, although not officially sanctioned, may well have promoted McCormack to a prominent place in the list of potential drivers.

Before then, however, his attention will be focussed on his home round of the British championship, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally, in three weeks time in which he will be defending a 10 point lead over Finn Siim Plangi.

Belfast Telegraph

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