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Ogier eager to get to grips with 'fun' Rally Sweden

It's a race routinely described as 'brutal': freezing temperatures, treacherous ice and unforgiving snowbanks. Surely only a madman would would look forward to it as 'fun'? Say hello to Sebastien Ogier.
Sébastien Ogier might not have as much experience of Rally Sweden as his new Volkswagen team mate Jari-Matti Latvala - a two-time winner of the event - but that doesn't mean Ogier is any less excited about the chance to get to grips with the uniquely challenging and at times brutal conditions that the roads around Hagfors and Karlstad can throw at the WRC field.

"I really like the Rally Sweden," insisted the French driver. "If the snow conditions are good, it is really good fun driving there. The average speed is pretty high, and the grip on studded tyres is fantastic.

"I just love pulling off big drifts with a rally car on ice," he added.

Even so, Ogier is aware that this is an event that strongly favours Nordic competitors with 'home advantage' of familiarity of the freezing conditions and looming snow banks. Only one non-Nordic crew has ever won Rally Sweden , and that was Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena back in 2004.

Ogier has only competed in Sweden three times before now, finishing fifth in his event début in 2010 and improving to fourth pace in 2011 while competing with Citroën, but he slumped out of the top ten and could only manage 11th place in 2012 in his first season with current team Volkswagen.

Ogier is hoping that an extra 12 months of experience with the new team in the 315-horsepower Polo R WRC will make all the difference and put him into serious contention next weekend.

"Let's see what we are capable of on this surface," he cautioned. "It is hard to predict what awaits us there. We will have to wait until after the first few special stages."

Certainly the season has started well for Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia, after they clinched second place in an eventful WRC season opener in Monte Carlo last month. First place went to Ogier's compatriot Loeb, but the reigning world champion is running a curtailed programme of races in 2013 and that puts Ogier in pole position at this point in this year's title race.

"The season could hardly have started better for us," Ogier agreed. "Heading to Sweden with 18 points to our name is a very nice position to be in. This allows us to relax a little!"

“After a good start to the season, the entire team now heads to the next challenge, the Rally Sweden, fully motivated and full of confidence," agreed Ogier's boss, Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito.




Related Pictures

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Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sebastien Ogier (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
DIOGO SALVI (PRT) - PAULO BABO (PRT) FORD FIESTA R5
MIGUEL CAMPOS (PRT) - CARLOS A. MAGALHÃES (PRT) SKODA FABIA R5
PONTUS TIDEMAND (SWE) - JONAS ANDERSSON (SWE) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Jipocar Czech National Team
VALERIY GORBAN (UKR) - VOLODYMYR KORSIA (UKR) BMW MINI JOHN COOPERS WORKS WRC, EUROLAMP WRT
podio, Kris Meeke (BR) Paul Nagle (GBR), Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total WRT, 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport and 3th Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA), VW Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
podio, Kris Meeke (BR) Paul Nagle (GBR), Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total WRT, 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport and 3th Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA), VW Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
podio, Kris Meeke (BR) Paul Nagle (GBR), Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total WRT, 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport and 3th Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA), VW Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA and Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport
1st position Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team, 2nd position , 2nd position Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II and 3rd position Sebastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport

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