A FLYING START FOR SEBASTIEN OGIER - BFGOODRICH DRIVERS TEAM
Rallye Monte-Carlo rookie Sebastien Ogier completed the first day of the 2009 event in fourth place at the wheel of the Kronos Racing-run BFGoodrich Drivers Team Peugeot 207 S2000.
It was barely daylight on the harbour front in Monaco this morning when competitors faced their first difficult tyre choice of the 2009 Rallye Monte-Carlo and, for 'Monte' debutant Sebastien Ogier, it was especially crucial to make the right call.
The information that came back from the ice-note crews was that the first stage of the rally was particularly treacherous, with a high proportion of ice and frost, while the second test of the opening group was 95 per cent dry. After talking with his BFGoodrich technician, Sebastien Ogier eventually opted for non -studded g-Force Winter snow tyres as the best compromise for the two stages. His cautious choice ended up paying dividends since he went on to record two fifth-fastest times to emerge in fourth position overall after SS2. A third of the day's final competitive test (SS3) turned out to be snowy, but Ogier succeeded in holding on to fourth spot. "Sebastien made the best tyre choices today. He w ent for non- studded snow tyres this morning and then switched to the studded option this afternoon." Said Michel Ducher (BFGoodrich Technician):
The Frenchman is just 16.6s shy of a footing on tonight's provisional podium and currently figures ahead of such seasoned 'Monte' campaigners as Freddy Loix and Toni Gardemeister.
Sebastien Ogier : "The day went quite well on the whole. The last part in the snow was quite complex but at least the conditions meant that I didn't drop too much time, and we are still fourth overall this evening. The main thing was to succeed in surviving the first stage without making any mistakes."