Ogier still searching for funding

Reigning Junior WRC champion Sebastien Ogier has had his deal with the Citroen Junior team extended to cover the Acropolis Rally - but the Frenchman still needs more finance before he can complete the season

Ogier still searching for funding

Ogier began 2009 on a six-round deal with Citroen's revamped secondary squad, and that initial arrangement runs out after this weekend's Rally Sardinia.

Citroen Junior team boss Benoit Nogier said Ogier would now be retained for the Greek event too as he had made up for earlier errors with his steady drive to seventh in Argentina, but that his prospects beyond round seven depended on sponsorship.

"After a strong performance in Argentina, which satisfied the entire team, Sebastien Ogier will also be entered for Greece," Nogier confirmed.

"He has already shown great potential during the six-event programme that was agreed at the start of the year.

"We would love to see him in Poland but we still need to find some budget. We are working on that on a rally-by-rally basis."

Ogier's team-mate Evgeny Novikov, who missed the last round in Argentina, has also been confirmed for Sardinia and the Acropolis, but faces an uncertain future afterwards.

"He is currently looking for backing for the rest of the season," said Nogier.

Conrad Rautenbach is the only one of the Citroen Junior trio whose programme for the whole 2009 season is in place.

Nogier added that he was urging all three drivers to take a cautious approach to Sardinia, as they had made too many mistakes for the team's liking so far this year.

"Our aim is always to see all our Citroen C4 WRCs at the finish," he said. "We will take each day of the rally as it comes, with humility, so that we can learn from our past experience.

"Our drivers are all very eager to succeed. In Italy, as has been the case since the start of the season, they will have to accumulate experience and build up confidence.

"Sebastien Ogier showed in Argentina that he could be very consistent and steer clear of mistakes, and we're looking to him to repeat that great form in Italy. The same applies to Conrad Rautenbach, who deserves a good result.

"Evgeny Novikov now needs to consolidate the promising performance he showed on his last round in Portugal. We really hope to see him at the finish."

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