Sebastien Ogier well placed for the final sprint Demonstrating their ability to combine both speed and maturity, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia continued their exceptional progress on the second day of the Rally Mexico. Driving...
Sebastien Ogier well placed for the final sprint
Demonstrating their ability to combine both speed and maturity, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia continued their exceptional progress on the second day of the Rally Mexico. Driving their Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC, the French crew will start the final day in third place just 2.7 seconds behind Petter Solberg and Phil Mills.
Perfect weather conditions in the Guanajuato region greeted the crews this morning as they took their cars out of parc ferme, located in Leon's poliforum. Under a clear sky, the day got underway with a run through Ibarrilla (SS10): the longest stage of the rally. Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia then got a chance to discover the conditions that they would be fighting all day.
"By starting second on the road, we had to sweep the line clean," explained the 2008 Junior World Rally Champion. "This made it very slippery, but it's all part of our learning process. I was just trying to drive as neatly as possible, but that's not always easy in these conditions."
During the morning Sebastien Ogier got closer to Petter Solberg while Sebastien Loeb, who had started third on the road, took the lead of the overall classification.
On the second run through Ibarrilla (SS14) in the beginning of the afternoon, the Citroen Junior Team driver got ahead of Petter Solberg. But Ogier did not hang onto this second place for very long, as he lost a bit of time by stalling at a hairpin on the Duarte stage (SS15).
In Derramadero (SS16) which would decide the starting order for the third and final day Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia chose to maintain their place just behind Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg on the provisional podium.
"We didn't push hard, so that we could be sure of staying in third position this evening. Our goal remains to finish second tomorrow and I think that we can do it. We're in a very good position just behind Petter. Now we just need to conclude all the excellent work that the whole team has carried out. There's going to be a great fight tomorrow and I hope that it carries on all the way to the end of the rally. It would be an important first for us to be fighting like this all the way to the end for a second place on a WRC event," added Ogier, who already climbed onto the second step of the podium in Greece last year.
Citroen Junior Team manager Benoit Nogier concluded: "Sebastien and Julien did not have as good a road position as they did yesterday but they did more than merely limit the damage, compared to their direct rivals. Before the rally, we had prepared for the possibility of Sebastien sweeping the road clean by identifying some specific settings for this situation, which worked well today. Sebastien and Julien will start third on the road tomorrow. Everything is in place for a potentially great result. Our objective is to get to the end, steer clear of mistakes, and score some important points."