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Ogier gunning for Finnish
29 July 2009
Citroen Junior Team's Sebastien Ogier has said that his main objective this weekend on the Neste Oil Rally Finland will be to ensure he gets his C4 WRC to the finish without hitting any problems.
The Frenchman, who won the Junior World Rally Championship last year, has turned his season around recently. Indeed following his runners-up spot in Greece, he was on course to take another rostrum in Poland last month, until engine problems sidelined him with just two 'proper' stages to go.
Now he will take in the 1000 Lakes and while he has done it before, he has only done it once - and that was at the wheel of a C2-R2 MAX.
Just like his Citroen Junior Team colleagues - Evgeny Novikov and Conrad Rautenbach - Ogier completed a three-day test in Finland on Sunday though and that will definitely be of benefit as he looks to get to grips with the unique conditions in Jyväskylä.
“While I've already been to Finland, everything's going to be a lot quicker this year,” said Ogier. “Our test before the start of the rally should help me a lot though.
“Our main objective is to continue building up experience by driving consistently and getting to the finish of each rally without hitting problems.”
Meanwhile Citroen Junior Team boss Benoit Nogier has conceded that this will be a tough event for his three drivers - and while Rautenbach has the most experience out of the three CJT men and has done it five times, oddly the Zimbabwean hasn't been nominated to score manufacturers' points.
“For the first time, we have nominated Evgeny Novikov / Dale Moscatt and Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia to score manufacturer points for the Citroën Junior Team. Conrad Rautenbach and Daniel Barritt will drive the third car. We would like all the crews to make their own individual contributions to the season,” Nogier explained.
“The end result in the World Rally Championship for manufacturers is the result of hard work from every single one of our crews. So it is only fair that everybody gets the chance to contribute towards it.”
Asked about recent results and the objective for Citroen's 'B' team this weekend, Nogier added that he would like to see them score although he is more than aware of this events reputation.
“It's fair to say that the last few rallies have gone well for our entire team,” he continued. “When you have young drivers, you obviously always have to climb a bit of a learning curve with them.
“The WRC is an extremely difficult category where you have to work extremely hard to have any hope of a good result. Now, all the efforts of our crews and team are beginning to pay off. As such we want to continue our progress by making the most of everything that we have learned up to this point.
“Finland is relatively new rally for us however, even though we ran a Citroën C4 WRC there for Conrad last year.
“It is definitely one of the rallies that requires' the most experience to master too. The characteristics of the stages are not so different to the ones found in Poland, where we were not that far off the pace of the top runners, but we all know that this is going to be an extremely tricky event. We remain optimistic though.
“The aim is to get our C4 WRCs regularly into the top five stage times. It would be great to finish in the top five overall as well, but we all know that the local drivers have the habit of causing an upset on their home event."
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