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Ogier: Battle far from won
24 June 2009
Citroen Junior Team's Sebastien Ogier has conceded that he needs another good result this weekend in Poland.
The Frenchman was sensational last season and immediately made an impression on the WRC,
to claiming the Junior World Rally Championship crown at his first attempt and being branded the new 'Seb' - a reference of course to his fellow countryman and five-time world champion, Sebastien Loeb.
However this year hasn't been so kind and prior to the last round the youngster admitted that his programme post round eight was far from finalised.
Furthermore while his form in Greece has no doubt eased the pressure somewhat, he knows it is important to maintain the momentum.
“After the start we had to the season, we felt a bit of pressure,” he stated. “We now need to demonstrate that we deserve our place in the WRC.
“Our second place in Greece did us a lot of favours and I honestly believe that it will allow us to approach the next few rallies more serenely. It was a nice reward for everyone's hard work since the start of the year.
“We've gained a lot of experience on some very different rallies. The team has worked really hard to iron out our small problems and we've also been able to learn from our mistakes. We always knew that all the hard work was going to pay off sooner or later and I'm very happy that we have achieved this result on only the seventh rally of the year. But the battle is still far from won. We have to keep going now in the same way.
“Our objectives haven't changed. Poland will be a different type of rally but it will be just as difficult.
“We are going to maintain the same strategy in order to accumulate as much experience as possible and be sure of getting to the finish.
“We took a lot away from Greece and our goal is to try and drive the same sort of event in Poland.”
Unlike a lot of the top crews, Ogier actually has some experience in Poland having done the recce in 2008 and that should aid his cause - although he believes the fact the event is new to virtually everyone will help him more.
“The Rally Poland is a new event for all the crews, so we all come to it with the same basic level of knowledge,” he explained. “This at least means that we have one disadvantage less to deal with [unlike most of the events that have been in the WRC for years].
“The route is very quick on quite gravelly roads, and I think that the surface will degrade as more competitors drive past.
“It's going to be a good rally that is quite similar to Finland but without the crests. On the whole, the scenery is much flatter.
“It's not going to be an easy event but none of the rallies on the World Championship ever are,” he concluded.
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