Ogier can't understand what caused his 'silly' Rally Turkey crash

Sebastien Ogier remains at a loss to explain precisely what happened when he slid off the road and dropped a possible World Rally Championship victory at last weekend's Rally Turkey

Ogier can't understand what caused his 'silly' Rally Turkey crash

Ogier and title rival Thierry Neuville had both suffered suspension problems on their cars on Saturday morning, with the Belgian retiring after a damper burst through the bonnet of his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on the opening weekend test.

That left Ogier poised to capitalise and the rally victory and a powerstage win would have put him back in the lead of the championship for the first time since Argentina.

But the M-Sport Ford star then suffered problems of his own on the very next test when a heavy landing broke the right-front wishbone on his Fiesta WRC.

Ogier battled to fix the wishbone, completing the job with a ratchet-strap and cable-tie, then heroically posted the fastest time on the very next stage.

The car was fixed in service and Ogier departed for the Saturday afternoon action in fourth place.

Win a money can't buy ride around the stunning new Great Orme Llandudno stage

His early speed on the next test meant he climbed up into second place, until he inexplicably slipped off the road.

"It was difficult to accept," said Ogier. "I did this silly mistake on a slow corner. The only explanation I have is that my brain wasn't working for a short time.

"I still have trouble understanding the mistake I made.

"Maybe the energy I used in the morning contributed to a certain lack of clarity, but the bottom line is that, between two very tight corners, I didn't take in one of Julien's pacenotes, I braked too late and we slid into a tree at 5kph.

"In 99% of cases this wouldn't have mattered at all, but that ground was very soft, so that the car sank into it as soon as I tried to move forwards.

"It was impossible to get going again.

"After all the effort we put in during the morning to stay in the race, this was one of the most frustrating retirements we've ever experienced.

"But we won't let it get us down, we'll keep fighting as hard as we can right to the end to keep our chances alive."

Ogier's powerstage run was then spoiled by a left-rear puncture.

He finished second to Neuville on the stage, but held the gap to the series leader at 23 points after his M-Sport team-mate Elfyn Evans forfeited his sixth place.

That moved the defending champion up to 10th overall, where he earned a single point to add to his five from the powerstage.

"I did everything I could," Ogier added. "This was not the weekend we wanted, but with three rallies left anything can happen."

Neuville and Ogier are now split in the championship standings, with Turkey winner Ott Tanak second in the table, 13 down on the leader and 10 up on the five-time world champion.

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Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier
Author David Evans
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