14 September 2014
WRC Rally Australia: Ogier closes on second Drivers' title
Sixth win of season on Rally Australia puts Sebastien Ogier on the brink of his second WRC Drivers' title
Sebastien Ogier took a “great step” towards winning his second WRC drivers' title this weekend with victory on Rally Australia.
It was his sixth win of the season and increases his championship lead to 50 points, putting him in a prime position now to sow things up on his home event, Rallye de France, at the start of next month.
“This win is a great step for the drivers' [title]. We are 50 points ahead and one victory will be [almost] enough. That's the plan in France, but first I want enjoy this one and then focus on France,” said Ogier.
“I have fantastic memory from last year and it's possible again – but this time I need the victory. Let's wait and see. I will have the same approach and try to stay clever and be fast and strong. I will not have to give absolutely everything to win, however, a podium will be good [too].”
Asked to rate his victory in Australia, he replied that it is a “really good one”, given he was first on the road on Friday and was also pushed very hard throughout by team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.
“The pushing started on Friday morning. Fortunately the first day was not too long, it was less than 100km and one of the stages was part of shakedown - that made a difference, on the first day that one [stage] saved the first day for me. And then, in the mud, I ended the day as leader. I was a bit surprised by this,” he continued.
“Day two was really good. I made a better tyre choice than Jari, still not completely right but at least better than him. We struggled with the forecast.
“I [then] managed the gap [today], but this was not an easy job. Jari was in a strong rhythm and I needed to keep the pace high. I did what I had to do. I am really proud of this one especially after some difficult weeks which I mentioned at the [pre-]press conference.
“I did some work on myself with my motivation, which was not so strong. I had more ambition and motivation than in the last few weeks. I want to thank some people who helped me, especially some people in the team and I want to take this moment to dedicate this win to Jost [Capito], who was the person who helped persuade me back. So thanks Jost, it's nice to be back on the podium.”
Ogier also added that he was delighted to help VW retain the Manufacturers' title.
“It's a great feeling. I was saying on the podium that as a rally driver we tend to be a little bit egoistical, but first we work for a team and a manufacturer and we have a great one in Volkswagen. I am really happy to be on this podium,” he continued.
“This is the first one-two-three and we fight for it. We knew there was a possibility [to do it]. We are three great crews in this team.
“I congratulate my team-mates Jari-Matti and Miikka [Anttila], they kept the pressure on us all the time and we had no time to react.
“And it's great to celebrate with Andreas [Mikkelsen] and Ola [Floene] as well, without them we wouldn't be able to make the one-two-three. They have been really strong, okay today they were able to be in cruise mode a little bit, but before that they were very strong.
“It is a great achievement for the whole team.”
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