Ogier: I’m no kamikaze

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Sebastian Ogier, the current championship leader in the current World Rally Championship (WRC) season, defended his low risk strategy at the recent Rally Poland believing his podium finish proved that was the right approach to take.

First in the running order IN the opening leg of Rally Poland, the M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver struggled in the wet conditions and fell behind the leading trio until the end of the day almost half a minute behind. On the second day of the competition, his progress was halted by two punctures, a spin and an intermittent alternator problem.

But on the third or last day of competition, Ogier jumped from fourth place to third after his teammate Ott Tänak crashed out, while his second fastest time on the Power Stage added another four points to his tally.

”It was a difficult rally for us, still the overall assessment is good and we’ve saved as many points as we could,” Ogier said.


”I have never been a’ kamikaze’ behind the wheel. I have always trusted in my feeling above all else and I tend not to force things if I feel I’m not 100 percent in control. It was the case on those ploughed up and super slippery roads, and at times I didn’t dare take those additional risks to have the optimum speed,” he added.

”The final result proves that it wasn’t a bad decision. Taking more risks wouldn’t have been enough to get the win anyway, partly because of the handicap of opening the road the first day on those super muddy roads and also considering a certain amount of bad luck and all those little issues we faced,” Ogier added.

Ogier left Poland with his championship lead trimmed to just 11 points and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville in the position of chief title rival.

”Even if we can never say that a weekend has been positive when our championship lead is reduced, it’s not such a bad operation,” Ogier reflected. ”Two of the four main title contenders lost lots of points and the competition has become a lot clearer now.

”It’s now time to chill out a little during the holidays, before coming back at full throttle in Finland to continue defending our position,” he added. THE TIMES

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