Three questions for VW Crew Chief Ralf Arneke

Three questions for VW Crew Chief Ralf Arneke

06.06.2015: You have just celebrated your 25th anniversary with the company




You have just celebrated your 25th anniversary with the company. How did you actually get started at Volkswagen Motorsport and what part of your job has changed most during that time?


Ralf Arneke
: “I started out as a mechanic and did that job for several years. In 1998 I was then made Chief Mechanic. In 1999 and 2000 we ran two Golf IV kit cars in the British Rally Championship – so I was involved at that time.


Back then we had far fewer opportunities (budget) for testing than was necessary later, for example, for the Rally Dakar or for the World Rally Championship nowadays. We also contested far fewer than 13 rallies per year, which is common practice today.


From 2004 I was Chief Mechanic again for Jutta Kleinschmidt’s Race Touareg at the Rally Dakar. Jutta finished third with the Race Touareg 1, making it the first diesel-powered vehicle to make it onto the podium at the Rally Dakar. The thing that has changed most over all those years is that I do a lot more of my job from my desk.


Since the days of the Rally Dakar, Volkswagen Motorsport has become increasingly professional in the way it has dealt with quality assurance. Since these scrupulous checks have been introduced, there have hardly been any technical faults.“




How did you celebrate your anniversary at the company?


Ralf Arneke
: “We had a small get-together with our management, during which I was given a nice present. A book about South Africa. I went there last winter for a well-deserved holiday and this book allows me to recall some of the many beautiful moments, which is obviously great. It is a fascinating country.“



The Rally Argentina was far from ideal from a Volkswagen point of view. However, this must only have made the one-two-three and top three positions on the Power Stage at the Rally Portugal taste all the sweeter. Do you believe Volkswagen will continue the success story of the past two and a half years?


Ralf Arneke:
“The opposition is very strong this year, and has closed the gap to us with various modifications to their cars. However, I think our big plus point is the drivers, as we have the best rally drivers out there at the moment. However, the work our entire team here in Hannover puts into preparing for every single rally is also a very important factor in the success.


Our drivers can depend one hundred per cent on every single member of the team doing their job to the very best of their ability. That is an outstanding basis, of which we can be hugely proud as a team. Without this, such victories and podiums would not be possible. We obviously hope things will continue this way.“



       
-André Dietzel, Ingo Roersch - photo Volkswagen

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/ralf-arneke-crew-chief-vw-questions---137170.html

06.06.2015 / MaP

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