Sebastien Ogier followed up his IRC Monte Carlo triumph with a sixth place finish on the Rally Ireland last weekend, the opening round in the 2009 World Rally Championship.

The 2008 Junior World Rally champion, who currently has a six-event programme confirmed with the Citroen Junior Team, had a bit of a slow start, but he was soon on the pace and ended the opening day in sixth.

Although he made a mistake in the first stage on Saturday - losing more than a minute and slipping down to eighth when his C4 WRC got stuck on a bank, he quickly put that behind him and set some solid times, and in SS13 he overhauled Matthew Wilson to end day two as he had started it, namely in P6.

The Frenchman then held onto that position on the final day and he eventually finished 40 seconds in front of his Stobart Ford rival and almost 3 minutes off his team-mate, Chris Atkinson in fifth.

"We learnt so much over the 350 competitive kilometres," the Equipe de France FFSA man reflected.

"We discovered a completely new environment, a brand new rally, and coped with horrendous conditions running behind the top drivers. Every rally we finish is a mine of information for us. It's a huge satisfaction for us to get to the finish and score some points."

Citroen Junior team manager, Benoit Nogier meanwhile described Ogier's form as 'excellent'.

"Sebastien learnt a lot and made plenty of progress over the weekend. Over the course of the three days, he set some very promising times given the conditions. For a driver who is still learning the car, it was an excellent performance," Nogier summed-up.



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