Sébastien Ogier has reflected that it will be imperative to 'stay concentrated and be ready to seize the slightest opportunity' on Rally Australia – and as he bids to turn the tables on team-mate and namesake Sébastien Loeb in the 2011 World Rally Championship title standings, the Citroën Total World Rally Team star reckons the fact that the event will be run on entirely unfamiliar roads could be of benefit to him.
Having notched up his maiden victory on tarmac in Germany last month – his fourth success of the current campaign, after similarly prevailing in Portugal, Jordan and Greece – Ogier has reduced Loeb's advantage in the chase for the crown to 25 points with four events remaining, beginning Down Under this weekend.
With a new base in Coffs Harbour – on the northern coast of New South Wales, approximately halfway between Sydney and Brisbane – the gravel and forest tracks of the 2011 edition of Rally Australia will mark uncharted territory for all competitors...and Ogier admits that suits him just fine.
“On several occasions this season, we've seen that a rally can be turned on its head at any moment,” the 27-year-old mused, “so you have to stay concentrated and be ready to seize the slightest opportunity. I'm happy to be back in Australia – on a new event, what's more. In these conditions – where experience is of less importance – I generally feel more at ease. I hope it'll be the same thing in this round and that we'll have a good scrap.”