Citroen man Sebastien Ogier
looks back on the year so far and previews this weekend's Rally Finland, the eighth round in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship.Q:
Sebastien, seven rallies, three victories and third place in the World Championship. How would you assess the first half of the season?Sebastien Ogier:
I've scored three victories, but in one event I came away empty handed, which cost us dearly. Overall, though, the championship's got off to a good start. With the exception of Sardinia, we've always been in the running for victory. We're still in with a fair chance of winning the title at the end of the season. It's very important to make a good start to the second half of the year. Next up are three tarmac rallies. It'll be a tough task as I'm up against my team-mate, but it's a great challenge for me.Q:
It's your fourth outing in Finland. The roads seem to suit you…Sebastien Ogier:
In 2008, we came to test the waters in a Citroën C2-R2. In 2009, it was a different story with the Citroën C4 WRC. We fought right till the end with the best local privateers and we set a fastest time in the second day. Last year was our first rally in the Citroën Total World Rally Team, and we finished second, ten seconds behind the winner. You need a certain amount of experience in this rally to really get to grips with the roads and avoid the traps. I like the layout of the stages and the high speeds.Q:
Do you feel ready to beat the Finns on home turf?Sebastien Ogier:
Julien [Ingrassia – my co-driver] and I are motivated like never before. We know it's going to be one of the most difficult rallies of the year as we're up against the Finns. But beating them isn't impossible. Last year, I was a bit surprised to finish so close to the winner. And we lost the ten seconds at the start of the rally when we were finding our marks.