Tag: Mads Ostberg

WRC: Sebastien Ogier in a league of his own to score victory in Mexico.

Two-time World Champion in a league of his own to score victory on a rally he believed he couldn’t win.

Sebastien Ogier took his third 2015 World Rally Championship victory in a row on Rally Mexico, despite claiming before the event that it was a rally he could not win due to his disadvantage of running first on the road.

He had clarified that by saying he only couldn’t win if all his rivals don’t hit trouble – and how they did that, in all manner of fashions.

Jari-Matti Latvala had a guilt-edged chance to get his title bid off the mark here, but threw it away when he swiped the left-rear corner off his Volkswagen Polo against a bank on Saturday.

Thierry Neuville, who has become Ogier’s closest rival in recent events, rolled his Hyundai when poised to challenge for the lead.

Citroen’s Kris Meeke also had a great chance, given his hugely preferable road position, but he too crashed out. In fact, Ogier’s rivals seemed to be inventing new ways of not challenging him for honours: Ford’s Ott Tanak even somersaulting into a lake on Friday morning.

Mads Ostberg finished second for Citroen, 1m18.8s behind the dominant Ogier, while Andreas Mikkelsen finished third for VW, another 6.3s behind.

Elfyn Evans finished a creditable fourth in his M-Sport Ford, equaling his best-ever finish at this level, while Dani Sordo suffered a puncture when he was closing in on Evans, and he cruised home in fifth. Czech privateer Martin Prokop rounded out the top six in his Fiesta.

Ogier trumped his own success by taking the three points on offer in the powerstage. Only he could find a way to upstage his own prowess at the moment – nobody else is in the same league right now.

“I think we can be proud,” he smiled after the finish. “The team have done an amazing job this weekend. It couldn’t have been better. One of the best wins of my career.”

Read more at motorsport.com

WRC: Mikkelsen takes lead in Sweden after Ogier and Latvala crash

Volkswagen’s balance of power shifts to its young Norwegian as its star names shunt.

Andreas Mikkelsen has taken a shock lead in Rally Sweden after his Volkswagen team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala both went off during the final forest rally stage of the day.

Ogier spun early in SS9’s Torsby stage, losing well over 30s. He ended the stage with many of his dashboard alarms flashing, as the off had filled his car’s radiators with snow.

“We hit a snowbank in a slow corner,” said Ogier. “I made a mistake, braked a bit too late and went spinning backwards. I got stuck as well. I had to push and take risks, it was the only chance to do something.”

Meantime, just a few minutes later, Latvala crashed on the exit of a right-hander just 600 metres from the end of the stage, ditching his VW Polo just as he was poised to take the lead overall.

“Basically I came too fast into the corner and expected the grip to be better,” he said. “I kept full throttle but it went to the ditch and the whole car got stuck-in. Everything is OK with the car, it’s just that we got stuck.”

Mikkelsen inherited the lead, and was incredulous when told of the news.

“Why? So Seb has a problem as well?” he asked. “OK, that makes things interesting. But Seb will never give up.”

Thierry Neuville set the fastest time on the stage, elevating his Hyundai to second overall. “If we had the quick-shift and the better engine, we would be right in the fight,” he said.

Mikkelsen leads Neuville by 19.7s, with Citroen’s Mads Ostberg now third. Ogier has dropped to fourth, 26.1s off the lead. Latvala lost 8m26s, and is now completely out of contention for victory.

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WRC: Tidemand grabs shock lead of Rally Sweden after opening stage

Snow and ice spectacular kicks off with thrilling spectator stage in Karlstad.

Pontus Tidemand, the 24-year-old Swede, starred in an RRC-spec M-Sport Fiesta to grab the lead of Rally Sweden around the twisting 1.9km Karlstad superspecial on Thursday evening.

Tidemand, a star in rallycross, completed the stage in 1m32.1s, 0.3s ahead of a fired-up Mads Ostberg in his works Citroen DS3. Although defeated on the stage, Ostberg was delighted to beat world champion Sebastien Ogier in their head-to-head run, even if Tidemand stole the show overall.

“It was quite good, a proper rallycross start,” said Ostberg. “The stage was quite nice, so I pushed a little but but not too hard.

“I said to myself I want to show Ogier how it’s going to be this weekend. I really mean that it’s possible [to win] this weekend. When I start well on a superspecial, it has to be good.”

Ogier made a very slow start from his inside lane on the side-by-side layout, and could only manage the seventh-fastest time, 1.1s off the pace.

“It’s a long rally, and it will be not so difficult to beat me if he drives a little bit well,” said Ogier of Ostberg. “I had a really bad start, everything was lost there. Conditions were not bad, it was a nice stage.”

Jari-Matti Latvala was further 0.4s off the pace in third, with the first of the Hyundai’s, Thierry Neuville, in fourth.

Andreas Mikkelsen was fifth quickest in his VW Polo, after running wide on long left-hander.

Several drivers bemoaned a complete lack of traction off the startline, while warm ambient temperatures on the stages have been tipped to cause disruption this weekend.

Read more at motorsport.com