Unlikely Sardinia WRC victory “special” for Ogier

Sebastien Ogier has labelled his unexpected Rally Sardinia victory as “special” and one that ranks “pretty high” in his glittering World Rally Championship career.

Unlikely Sardinia WRC victory “special” for Ogier

The seven-time world champion recorded his 52nd WRC win in what was a brutal Rally Sardinia that saw only four WRC cars complete the distance.

The championship leader extended his advantage to 11 points after beating team-mate Elfyn Evans by 46s, despite having the challenge of sweeping the tricky rough gravel roads throughout the opening day.

Taking several risks, Ogier impressively managed to end Friday sitting third behind the Hyundai pair of Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo despite the road position disadvantage.

The Frenchman then set about reeling in and then leapfrogging Sordo early on Saturday, before inheriting the lead when Tanak retired on Stage 12 after hitting a rock on stage. Sordo’s retirement from second on Stage 15 further increased his lead.

Once in front, Ogier skilfully managed the situation scoring five stage wins on Saturday before cruising to the victory on Sunday, a first for Toyota in Sardinia.

Podium: Winners Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC, second place Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Podium: Winners Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC, second place Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“It is true that I did mention before the start that I was not so sure what I was doing here this weekend and that I would prefer to be home. It looks like it was a good idea to be here finally,” said Ogier.

“It is hard to rank victories but winning from being first on the road in Sardinia, it doesn’t happen every day, that is s sign that we need rank this one pretty high, its special.

“To be very honest, I do prefer the intense fight this weekend but with these kind of rules the top drivers cannot all fight together because there are too many differences with the road position.

“That is a bit of a shame but it is nothing new. We can be very proud from this one.

“I was really expecting to suffer a lot. My target at this moment is to focus on the guy just behind you and if you manage to beat the guy behind you it is already an achievement.

“If it is even more, then that is a bonus. I managed to be faster than Elfyn and Thierry (Neuville) on day one which was very good for us. After Ott was at a different speed but kinda normal with his road position.

Read Also:

“Day two was another strong day not with the same amount of risk as for sure on day one I had to take a lot of risk to try to compensate the starting position.

“Then when Ott [Tanak] hit some troubles and we found ourselves in the lead, and from this moment on a different race started, and we had to try and stay clever to the end to secure this win.”

Ogier admitted that he didn’t expect to leave Sardinia with 27 points but credited the work to improve the Yaris WRC car that Toyota completed in the test between Rally Portugal and Rally Sardinia.

“It has been an amazing weekend for me for sure. I didn’t expect to be able to come here and fight for the top position. Coming out with 27 points rally feels good,” he added.

“We made some work during the test between the rallies in Portugal, we were not as fast as we wanted and I’m glad we have come back to a car I like much more.”

shares
comments

Related video

Evans final stage panic “almost a heart attack” moment for Toyota boss

Previous article

Evans final stage panic “almost a heart attack” moment for Toyota boss

Next article

Neuville defends Hyundai WRC reliability

Neuville defends Hyundai WRC reliability
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021