SÃ©bastien Ogier on the provisional podium By getting the better of his key rival, SÃ©bastien Ogier is currently third after the second day of Rallye Deutschland, behind the two factory CitroÃ«n C4 WRCs of SÃ©bastien Loeb et Dani Sordo. Kimi ...
Sébastien Ogier on the provisional podium By getting the better of his key rival, Sébastien Ogier is currently third after the second day of Rallye Deutschland, behind the two factory Citroën C4 WRCs of Sébastien Loeb et Dani Sordo. Kimi Räikkönen is also making progress in the overall classification by claiming sixth place ahead of the third and final day.
The long second day of the Rallye Deutschland got underway at 0630 when the first crews made their way out of parc fermé in Trier. Both the Citroën Junior Team drivers had one firm objective in mind: to attack in order to make up places in the overall classification.
Sébastien Ogier faced a battle with Jari-Matti Latvala for the final podium place and the Frenchman claimed the advantage after the first run over Arena Panzerplatte: at 48 kilometres the longest stage in the World Rally Championship. "We still need to try and make more progress," said Ogier. "I sense that it's hard to make up time, even though my feeling with the car is good. These kilometres are vital for our learning curve. We only have a small gap over Jari-Matti, so we can't relax for a second."
In the afternoon, with the temperature peaking at 31°C in the stages, Sébastien Ogier pulled out more of a gap to consolidate his third place. "We went for a slightly more aggressive pace to build up a bit of a margin over Jari-Matti," he reported. "Now we need to keep on driving well to be sure of staying on the podium. Our advantage is only 16 seconds."
In St. Wendeler Land (ES8), Kimi Räikkönen overhauled Matthew Wilson to climb up to seventh. But a straight-on in the following stage meant that his good work was undone. "In SS9 I just braked a bit too late and went straight on," recounted the Finn. "A few kilometres from the end we had a problem with the rear anti-roll bar. As we only had a remote service before Panzerplatte, we had to drive the long stage with the problem. I didn't take any risks, but we didn't lose much time either."
Thanks to his experience from the morning, Kimi Räikkönen was able to get closer to the top times in the second loop, practically halving his time difference to the frontrunners. "I'm quite pleased with our day," he said. "We were much closer to the pace than we were yesterday. With some other drivers having retired, we are now sixth. So our aim is to hang onto this position until the end."
Team manager Benoit Nogier concluded: "Sébastien Ogier has had exactly the sort of day that we could have hoped from him. He steadily gained ground on Jari-Matti, who was still setting good times. We worked hard during the midday service halt to help Sébastien, by refining the car set-up to suit him more. In the afternoon he made full use of this to establish himself in third behind the two factory Citroëns, which are really on top of their game here. Kimi Räikkönen had very much the same approach in his battle with Matthew Wilson. He came off best to claim sixth place this evening. This is an excellent position for him to be in on his first visit to Germany. This was the longest day of rallying of the year, thanks to a gruelling 187.58 competitive kilometres, and our C4s and their drivers faced up to the challenge well."