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WRC Argentina 2013: Ogier looking forward to Loeb duel
29 April 2013
Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has said he is looking forward to battling with Sebastien Loeb on Rally Argentina.
Ogier will be gunning for his fourth win in succession this week, and while the return of Loeb has the potential to spice things up at the front, the 29-year-old added that he won't be focusing too much on his former Citroen team-mate, especially as he is only due to do one more World Rally Championship event after this one.
“I am looking forward to the duel with Sebastien Loeb. We had a great battle in Sweden, and it will be anything but easy again here [in Argentina]. However, my main focus is on my rivals in the World Championship,” Ogier confirmed.
Ogier has dominated the last three events and going into round five he already enjoys a 54-point lead over his nearest challenger, Mikko Hirvonen - 102 points versus 48.
“After the three victories, we obviously want to continue where we left off and, ideally, defend our lead in the championship until the end of the season. For now, however, we would be happy with another podium in Argentina,” Ogier added.
“Rally Argentina may at first glance be just another gravel rally, but that first impression can be deceptive, as the ground is really soft and sandy. This means that the roads have often been cut up quite badly by the second run in the afternoon, and this puts the material under even greater strain.
“I really like Rally Argentina though, because of the fantastic atmosphere. At very few other places do so many fans flock to the special stages and service park.”
Volkswagen Motorsport boss Jost Capito meanwhile has been delighted with the results to date, although he isn't getting carried away and as ever remains cautious.
“The season has been perfect so far for Volkswagen. The reliability of the whole package was outstanding at the first four events. Whether the Polo R WRC, our drivers, or the team – together, we got the absolute maximum out of the package," he remarked.
"We now face another new challenge, however, in the form of the Rally Argentina. You must not forget that the Polo R WRC is a brand-new car, which is once again making a debut here. Despite the success of the opening rallies, we travel to South America with a cool head."