Ogier back in championship contention

Sebastian Ogier moves to with three points of joint championship leader and team mate Sebastian Loeb after winning Rallye de France last weekend
Citroen face a highly charged final two rounds of the WRC season after Sebastian Ogier took full advantage of team mate Sebastian Loeb's engine failure by winning Rallye de France in front of Mini's Dani Sordo, who scored the Prodrive run operations second podium of the year.

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen took the final step on the rostrum after Citroen privateer Petter Solberg was stripped of his third place, which enabled him to join Loeb at the top of the table, level on points.

For Loeb however, his main worry must come from his young compatriot Ogier, who in equal machinery has looked dangerous all year. Ogier could - and should - lead the championship race had he taken advantage of Loeb's uncharacteristic crash in Australia.

The Citroen pairing's duel, which has lasted all season, has already offered its fair share of controversy with the French marque seeming to favour the older statesman Loeb. However, Loeb suffering his fair share of bad luck and making the odd uncharacteristic mistake has bought Ogier back into play.

After taking his fifth win of the year in France, Ogier revealed he was relieved to cross the finish line after carrying the responsibility of scoring healthy points for the team in their manufacturer championship battle.

“It's been a very long rally as I carried the responsibility for the whole team on my shoulders," he said. "I'm just happy to be able to relax. Obviously, this victory means a lot to me from a personal point of view. Five wins in a season is already a pretty good achievement. I'd like to thank the team which gave me a perfect car."

The WRC circus now heads to Spain and Wales for the final two rounds of the championship, which should prove to be a titanic battle if this season's controversy and excitement has anything to go by.

by Simon Evans

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Podium, Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
3th place Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
1st place Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
2n place Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Michelin tyres
Robert Kubica

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Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

October 05, 2011 11:34 PM
Last Edited 1210 days ago

I think there is trouble ahead !! Olivier Quesnall loves using his power, He prefers Ogier but Loeb has Recently gone to the Chairman of Citroen about Quesnells Ogier Favoritism, there has become two teams within a team now and they are quite sepparated The Chairman has backed Loeb and Told Quesnell to give him all the support he wants, Obviously He then signed a new two year deal which gave him more say and Number 1 status from what I can tell Ogier is looking more likely to Jump ship to get away from Loeb and the Power he again has at Citroen, the question is, will he Go to Ford or will he take a year out and test the VW and return in 2013 His Manager Kim Vatanan says hes keeping his Options open for next year - but he has a 2 year Contract still to run with Citroen, So i wonder how he plans on getting out of that - lol

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