Sebastien Ogier has once again insisted he is not the 'new Sebastien Loeb' even if the Volkswagen ace is hotly tipped to follow in his countryman's footsteps after his impressive start to the 2013 WRC season.
Ogier took a brilliant win in Sweden last month, a victory that moved him to the top of the Drivers' Championship. He is now 3 points up on Loeb, his former Citroen 'team-mate', who is only due to appear on two more events this year as he switches focus to his career away from the WRC.
to the start of Rally Mexico, and the opening two short tests, Ogier was none-too-pleased when asked in the pre-event press conference about him being the 'new Loeb' and poised to dominate in a similar fashion.
“I can tell you, I'm not the new Loeb, I am Ogier. I heard so many times this comparison – we do not need to do it anymore,” said Ogier, who had something of a difficult relationship with Loeb in 2011 when they were both at Citroen. “We have 10 years difference between us and are from a different generation.
“If I was 10 years older then we might have a big fight between us. Now I do my best and continue to drive fast. To compete against him was a great experience for me to push to my limit. It is still tough now though and the other drivers keep me focused all the time as well.”
“I hope we have a big fight [this weekend],” he continued. “It is a long rally, but the Polo R WRC looks good on gravel – we also have to see about reliability – the first two rallies were quite easy on the cars and this one is more difficult, with the risk of punctures on the rocks on the road.
“I will not be 100 per cent aggressive. Many times on a rally it is better to be 99 per cent not 110 per cent.”
Ogier currently leads Rally Mexico following the two short super specials last night.