Tag: Sebastien Ogier

WRC: Ogier’s hopes dashed on Rally Argentina

Two-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier’s quest to win his first Rally Argentina is already over on just the second stage of the event.

Ogier, who led the rally after Thursday’s brief superspecial, retired on the first proper stage with a technical problem.

His car will be brought back to the service park for analysis – with early reports suggesting an engine problem which stranded him 5km short of the stage’s finish – and will rejoin under Rally2 rules tomorrow.

Despite this, he will have no chance of winning the event, which is now led by Citroen’s Kris Meeke.

Ogier had won every round of the championship so far this year, with victories in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Mexico.

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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.”

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WRC: Ogier wins Rally Sweden as Mikkelsen spins on powerstage

Final-stage drama spells another victory for two-time World Champion, as young Norwegian teammate fails heroically.

Sebastien Ogier claimed the most remarkable victory of his already-illustrious World Rally Championship career on Rally Sweden, as Volkswagen teammate Andreas Mikkelsen spun away his lead on the very last stage.

Mikkelsen began the stage 3s ahead of Ogier, with just the 15.87 powerstage of Varmullsasen remaining.

Mikkelsen was entering the final section of the stage when he clipped a bank on a left-hander, and almost corrected the slide before he nosed into the snow bank again, and required help from the spectators to push him back on the road.

“We gave it our all,” he sighed, and finished 39.8s behind the winner in third.

Ogier was told of Mikkelsen’s spin by reporters after completing the stage.

“I was flat-out, flat-out from the beginning to the end,” said Ogier. “An amazing victory. So happy, so proud.”

Despite starting the day as the rally leader, Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville slipped back to third in the overall standings as the Volkswagens turned up the wick.

An intercom problem caused a trip into a snow bank this morning, costing him time, but Mikkelsen’s spin meant he was promoted back to second. He finished 6.4s behind Ogier.

“I was maximum, I took big risks and there was no chance to drive faster,” said Neuville. “This weekend has been like a wake-up for the team.”

M-Sport’s Ott Tanak finished fourth in his Ford Fiesta, ahead of the second Hyundai of New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon. Elfyn Evans claimed sixth in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta.

Citroen’s Kris Meeke spun on a fast right-hander in the powerstage, trying to jump ahead of fellow Briton Evans, but still finished ahead of Martin Prokop.

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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.

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WRC: Ogier holds lead heading into final day in Monte Carlo

The VW driver drove cautiously today, in tough conditions.

It’s not unusual to see rain, sleet, slush, snow and dry tarmac all in the same stage at Rally Monte Carlo.

So, when you start a leg with an almost 2 minute lead, you certainly drive cautiously in those conditions.

And that is just what reigning champion Sebastien Ogier did, giving up over one minute in an effort to manage the tough conditions over today’s 4 stages.

“We were safe with our tire choices today and I was very slow on every icy part. My studded tires weren’t the fastest option, but they were the safest for the snowy section in the final stage. I had nothing to risk by trying to drive quickly,” Ogier told WRC.com

Volkswagen currently holds 1-2-3 in the rally, with Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen now 42 seconds and another minute behind respectively.

Robert Kubica showed his speed this weekend outright winning the first stage of the day, after the scheduled first stage was cancelled for safety reasons.

Nothing special – just driving,” he said. “We had good tires (super-softs), but the conditions were very tricky. Our gravel crew did a very good job. I think I have driven nicely.”

Early leader and former world champion Sebastien Loeb is 9 minutes adrift from the leaders, struggling with the conditions like much of the rest of the field.

“We tried to use the slicks to see how it was. I had to be very careful in the middle bit. Not my best stage,” Loeb said.

Loeb’s teammate, Kris Meeke was fast on the day but his early rally issues have relegated him to the tenth spot overall. Meeke won the last stage, 8.5 seconds from Robert Kubica.

“We tried the crossover combination of 2 studded and 2 super softs. I had a spin and lost 10 or 12 seconds – I could have been faster,” Meeke told WRC.com.

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WRC: Ogier leads, Loeb breaks in Monte Carlo

Sebastien Loeb will have a long way to battle back after a suspension part issue on the sixth and final stage of the day in Monte Carlo.

One-minute, 45 seconds is the gap from the reigning WRC World Champion Sebastien Ogier to Jari-Matti Latvala after 8 stages and two days of competition.

Again today, fickle weather made tire choice key, but Ogier said while he didnt have the right tire choice, he made it to the end of the stage.

“I had no idea that I was in the lead. Let’s wait and see. The tyres were not ideal for here, but it’s all I had,” he told WRC. com

The reason for his confusion was rally leader Sebastien Loeb’s drop of over 5 minutes in the final stage of the day.

Incidents all around

Rolling past the flying finish with ratchet straps holding parts of the car together on the rear end of his Citroen DS3, Loeb said the suspension broke after contact with a rock on the stage.

“It happened when I hit – a little bit – a rock in an icy place. Not too hard, but it broke – I don’t know exactly what – but something is wrong. I had to try really hard because I knew with the road conditions it was impossible in this (road) position, so I tried really hard with a different tyre choice and did a mistake. Will it get back to service? I will try.”

Ironically, Loeb’s Citroen team mate who had the best position to make the Citroen effort for a win two-fold, also fell out of contention in a very similar fashion to Loeb, but it is not expected that the Brit will be bale to limp his machine to service.

Lastly, while he made it to the end of the day, Robert Kubica had two major offs during the final stages of the day. The two incidents send Kubica down the running order.

“We had a massive moment at high speed. We went off, and thanks to the spectators we got back, then later at a junction we went off again, slid on the snow, hit a tree and punctured the tyre. We drove 10km like that,” he said.

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