WRC Rally de France: Ogier looking to secure second title at home

Defending champion Sebastien Ogier focused on trying to wrap up the 2014 WRC Drivers' title on his home event in France
Sebastien Ogier will be looking to secure his second WRC Driver's title on Rallye de France this coming week.

Ogier took his sixth win of the season in Australia earlier this month and now heads into his home event with a 50 point advantage over Volkswagen team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala. It means he will need to score six more points than the Finn to successfully defend his crown, with a victory and at least second on the Power Stage sufficient to wrap things up, regardless of where Latvala finishes.

“My goal is to be crowned World Champion in my own country again. To do this, however, I must score six points more than my team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala. A win could be enough," Ogier commented. "I think Jari-Matti though will once again be my fiercest rival."

Ogier has won the Rallye de France twice to date, in 2011 and 2013 and is looking forward to competing in front of his fellow countrymen again.

“The home rally is always very special for me,” he added. “The interest in you as a person is always greater than usual – both from the fans and the media.

“Rally de France is a little bit similar to Rally Germany [now – since it moved to Alsace in 2010],” he continued. “That is to say, there are a few special stages in the vineyards. However, there are also big differences. For example, many more stages are held in the forests. The asphalt can be very wet and slippery there. There are not as many junctions at Rally France as there are in Germany [either], and the special stages are generally more flowing and nicer to drive.

“We have to do our job better this time than at the last asphalt rally in Germany [when I crashed twice].”

Volkswagen Motorsport boss Jost Capito is expecting another good fight between Ogier and Latvala.

“The fans can look forward to another thrilling episode of the duel between the champ and the challenger – Ogier against Latvala,” he noted. “Both have shown recently that they are in a league of their own on asphalt, although they lacked the necessary luck to convert their leads into a win at Rally Germany. Both are capable of beating each other.

“Having won the Manufacturers' Championship, we at Volkswagen can now focus fully on this truly extraordinary duel, which has been the story of the season.

"Rally France promises to be another highlight of the WRC season. And there is really no need to worry about whether our drivers are hungry for the win.”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

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Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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September 29, 2014 2:06 PM
Last Edited 756 days ago

I think he will need to ensure that he remains focussed on the Championship overall and get to the finish line in France by completing all the stages without risking everything by trying to win the Rally itself. I think Jari Matti should and will push him 110% as he can only force his team mate to make a mistake under pressure. If Ogier remains calm and accepts a podium then I think he can easily take the title in Spain. He will need to have a Points Gap of more than 56 points by the end of the Rally to win before Spain, and that is Risky. Of course he can risk everything for the win as Auriol did back in 1992 (after dominating the season) and maybe not end up winning the Title by the end of the year, or he can get a double podium in France and Spain and play much safer


September 30, 2014 1:05 PM

If Ogier makes a mistake again then the Gap could be halved if Jari was to go on to win the event and also the Power Stage. This then puts the Huge pressure on Ogier in Spain and G.B. and he will not enjoy it as much. I suppose he is thinking that he can afford to risk crashing out and still be in front in the Championship by the time we go to Spain next month, but this is not the best way to win the Title for Ogier. If I were Ogier I would drive at 100% and see where Jari Matti is, If Jari Matti is pulling away as he did in Germany I would take the points and do the same again in Spain and guarantee myself the Title. I am sure Jari Matti will go 110% and gamble on it encouraging Ogier to do the same in the hope Ogier will go off again trying to beat him. A driver of Ogiers Calibre should come out with the Title, but this is where it could get interesting

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