|Ogier excels in face of adversity|
M-Sport prevailed in the face of adversity at this weekend’s Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse. Enduring a rally of attrition, the team had to dig deep to deliver a fourth podium in as many events for the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia delivered a sensational performance in difficult circumstances – securing second place overall and extending their lead at the head of the FIA World Rally Championship’s driver and co-driver standings.
With Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja recovering to just outside the top-ten, the team also secured a healthy haul of points to maintain their lead at the helm of the manufacturer standings.
Recovering a strong result from a demanding Tour de Corse, the team now focus their attentions on an up-coming five-day test where every effort will be made to address the challenges faced this weekend and extract further performance from the Fiesta.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It’s been a very demanding weekend for the team. We’ve experienced issues that we’ve not seen before and I can tell you that the team will be working extremely hard in the lead-up to the next event.
“We have to praise Sébastien and Julien for the job they have done in what were some very difficult circumstances. But they stuck with it, and second place shows how committed and determined they both are.
“In view of what we’ve experienced here in Corsica, it’s great to see Sébastien extend his lead in the drivers’ championship and for the team to maintain the lead of the manufacturers.
“We have a five-day test coming up next week where we’ll focus on improving the performance of the car as well as addressing the issues we’ve faced this weekend.”
OGIER AND INGRASSIA SECOND OVERALL AT TOUR DE CORSE
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia endured a rally of highs and lows this weekend, but the end result remained positive – the four-time World Champions securing second place to extend their lead at the head of the standings.
Struggling with set-up throughout the early stages, the Frenchmen were missing absolute confidence but hinted at the potential of the Ford Fiesta WRC. The pairing were never out of the top two on individual stage times through the opening day but lacked the feeling required to push for the lead.
Following an in-depth review with the engineering team during Saturday’s midday service break, Ogier was back on form and set a time five seconds clear of anyone else through the second pass of yesterday’s ‘La Porta - Valle di Rostino’ (SS7).
That performance propelled him into a battle for victory – just 2.2 seconds shy after yesterday’s penultimate speed test. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and the Frenchman suffered a hydraulic issue on the final test of the day (SS8) which dropped him more than 30 seconds adrift of the lead.
Focused on securing second place over today’s final two stages, there was more late drama for the World Champion as his Fiesta developed an intermittent electrical problem through the first stage of the morning (SS9) – dropping him behind third-placed man Dani Sordo.
Working with the engineers, Ogier proved what it is that makes him such a force to be reckoned with and calmly found a solution. Delivering a stunning drive through the final stage, Ogier regained second position and claimed an additional four points with the second fastest time through the Power Stage.
Sébastien Ogier (2nd) said:
“It has definitely been a roller coaster weekend for us! We’ve had lots of highs and lows, but I’m happy to say that we finished on a high with some really good points for the championship.
“We’re happy with the pace that we had and things are definitely moving in the right direction. We struggled with the set-up at times, but honestly the car is not too bad and I think we have some performance in the tank.
“We had the pace to challenge Thierry for the win – only two seconds behind him before the technical problems – but of course we have some work to do to ensure we don’t repeat this stressful weekend.”