WRC Italy: Meeke tells Ogier to complain less and be more like Loeb

Kris Meeke has dismissed World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier's claims he needs "a miracle" to win Rally Italy and advised him to be more like Sebastien Loeb

WRC Italy: Meeke tells Ogier to complain less and be more like Loeb

Arriving on the island of Sardinia as WRC leader, Sebastien Ogier will have to lead the field for as much as 88 per cent of the entire route.

Ogier is first on the road on Friday and, if nobody retires and returns under superally for Saturday, he'll be first in on the very long day two route as well.

The Volkswagen driver has maintained steadfast opposition to the 2015 running order regulation and says he has no intention of becoming less vocal or changing his stance until the FIA changes the rules.

But his Citroen rival Meeke says Ogier only has to look to the example set by Sebastien Loeb to see what can be done in Sardinia.

"In 2011, Loeb won from the front," Meeke told AUTOSPORT.

"He drove at the front of the field for three days.

"He didn't do any complaining, he just showed incredible speed to get on and win the event.

"The rules are the way they are now, so we just to get on with it.

"Loeb's shown it's possible, so if anybody wants to show they're anything as good as the driver who has become the benchmark for our generation, then they have to do something similar."

Ogier told AUTOSPORT that the hot, dry conditions in Italy would make it the toughest rally of the season to be out front.

"I don't say I can't win, because there might be a miracle and it might happen, but for sure the chance is very small," he said.

"This will be the hardest rally of the season because of the profile of the stages, all of the braking and acceleration: for sure, it will cost me a lot of time.

"There's no way to change it. I have to deal with it - but I fight always and for as long as we don't have the rules which are fair and sporting for everybody."

Ogier was fourth on Thursday's shakedown stage, 1.1 seconds down on fastest man, Hyundai's Dani Sordo.

Meeke and Citroen team-mate Mads Ostberg were second and third quickest.

VERY HIGH TEMPERATURES EXPECTED

The drivers will face one of the toughest physical challenges of their careers in Italy, with cockpit temperatures likely to rise to 65 degrees.

Temperatures of around 35 degrees are expected on Friday's gravel stages close to Oristano and many of the drivers have elected to wear lightweight racesuits in an effort to combat the heat in the car.

Follow Rally Italy as it happens with AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 7am UK time on Friday

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