Ogier: New asphalt WRC tyres will be a leveller at Rally Croatia

Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier believes Pirelli’s new dry asphalt rubber will prove a leveller at Rally Croatia.

Ogier: New asphalt WRC tyres will be a leveller at Rally Croatia

The long-range forecast for this weekend’s tarmac battle gives for largely dry and sunny conditions.

During his pre-event test, Ogier got to sample the Italian company’s hard compound P-Zero offering.

It will make its first appearance at the event which starts on Friday – alongside the Cinturato rain tyre.

“We have new tyres this season and we have not had the chance so far to drive the slick tyres on dry tarmac,” said Ogier, who will start the rally third on the road.

“The test was important as the experience helped me to learn. I’m pretty happy with the car – I enjoy it – so now it is all about collecting the data and making the best choices in Croatia.

“It is hard to say who is the favourite to win in Croatia. If I am part of them that’s good – but I’ve just mentioned the tyres; they are really playing a big role at the moment because it is all about who can adapt to them as fast as possible, so it is difficult to estimate who is going to be the best in this rally.

“I would say that does make things interesting I’m looking forward to that challenge but it’s hard to say who’s going to be the fast drivers. Let’s see.”

Having the most experience – and success – on asphalt of any other current WRC driver, many see the Frenchman as the man to beat on the newest addition to the series.

However, the reigning WRC champion insists leaving round three as the leader is not the priority given that Rally de Portugal follows immediately after Croatia.

“Of course, I would like to win this rally but we are at the beginning of the season and there is still a very long way to go,” he told Autosport.

“Every point is important for the championship but I’m also aware of the many gravel events coming after Croatia where it’s going to be challenging sat at the front.

“I’ll do my best to be consistent as that’s key to winning, but I’m pretty relaxed going to Croatia.

“Arctic Rally Finland was, of course, disappointing. Only one point but that’s the way it is. Going there as the leader of the championship was unfortunately a very big challenge on top of the mistake from my side [crashing on the final corner of Saturday’s last stage and dropping 20 minutes].

“It cost me some points but not that many. At the end I’m just looking forward and focusing on Croatia.”

shares
comments

Related video

"No certainty" WRC Rally Finland will be open to fans
Previous article

"No certainty" WRC Rally Finland will be open to fans

Next article

Adamo: Hyundai needs “vital” consistency in WRC title fight

Adamo: Hyundai needs “vital” consistency in WRC title fight
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
7 h
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Plus

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022