Sebastien Ogier rolled his Citroën DS3 WRC today while testing for Rally Finland in the end of this month. Perfect footage below!
Posts Tagged ‘sebastien ogier’
Kimi Räikkönen did a massive multiple roll in Rally Mexico on the 7th stage. Unfortunately, he will not restart the rally due to the bad damages on his car. However, this is quite an expected step on his learning curve…
On the bright side of the rally, Petter Solberg holds the lead after the first day with around 15 seconds over Citroen Junior driver Sebastien Ogier. Will we see Petter winning a rally for the first time in many years? That would be amazing!
Thanks to motorstvfrance for the video.
Many people following the rally reports from Rally Monte Carlo today have probably noticed and wondered about the fact that Ogier was so angry after going off the stage – and how the hell spectators can come to the idea to put snow on the road just to sabotage for the drivers (If you don’t know what I’m talking about – watch the video!). I can’t answer that question, but it’s certainly a big problem for the Rally Monte Carlo organisers that they need to solve. This has been going on for quite some years now, and I have a feeling they’ve already tried – but I’m not sure they have tried as hard as they should…
It doesn’t even need to be explained how dangerous it is to throw snow on the road when a car potentially going on slicks are approaching assuming conditions are like they were just a few hours before when the ice note crew went through. In road traffic you should have margins for such things – but not in rallying. That’s what rallying is about… Driving without that extra margins, using the skills and the interaction between driver and co-driver to get the car through the stage as fast as possible… The spectators doing those things have no interest in rallying, they are just losers. But in the end – if the spectators can’t handle it themselves, it’s the responsibility of the organiser to get it solved.
With that said, I love the Rally Monte Carlo and that has been even more clear to me in 2009 and 2010 with the beautiful live TV coverage. But I can actually say I’m happy the event is out of the WRC as long as this problem stays as big as it is (=more of standard than exception during the rally). Get guards out to the important twists, damn organisers. I know it’s quite many but what else can you do? If you can cover everything live on TV, you can probably find one guard per turn too. This makes the rally both dangerous and a farce for crews, spectators and marshals.
I really hope this gets better!
And as a note… Mikko Hirvonen leads the rally with 41.9 seconds over last years champion Kris Meeke and 1.04 before Juho Hänninen. The action continues tomorrow – and everything is broadcasted live. Just hope the morons have been sent home then, the rally is too good to be disturbed by such shit..!
Picture: Sebastien Ogier in last years Rally Monte Carlo, photo: ircseries.com
According to French site Auto-Hebdo, last years winner of the Rally Monte Carlo Sebastien Ogier will drive a Kronos Racing backed Peugeot 207 S2000 in this years edition of the rally. Also the French asphalt ace and mixed rally/circuit driver Stephane Sarrazin will join the team in the same type of car. Not very much information is available, but for sure is that the Rally Monte Carlo will be a true joy for anyone interested in rallying considering the impressive lineup of drivers the event is starting to collect.
Check out a few nice clips from the Cyprus rally:
The 2009 Cyprus Rally is over, and it went much as expected. Loeb cruised to the win – despite his crying about having to go with gravel tyres on tarmac during the Friday stages, something that seemed to go pretty much just fine. Hirvonen in second is not a big surprise, much has happened since his Subaru struggle in 2004 and he now seems to be the only one really able to be even close to Loebs pace.
Another Subaru struggler that is happy is probably Petter Solberg. After some hard years and a retired works team, Petter is now back on the podium with a third place and two stage wins in Cyprus. To be honest, even this isn’t very unexpected. Cyprus is a rally where cautiousness, experience and reliability pays off – something that the Solberg+Xsara combination have quite a lot of. I expected Petter to be in the top 4-5, and he was – he even overshot my expectations a little. That’s fine – but in Portugal speeds will be much higher and the requirements are quite different. If I were Petter – I would make sure to switch from the Xsara now, despite the podium position. But switch to what…? Actually, I don’t think it matters wether he goes for a C4WRC or a Focus WRC. He will never get the absolutely hottest stuff if he’s not a works driver – and the cars are probably quite equal. Petter’s driving style should judge that choice. But one thing is clear – the Xsara wont be of much use in the upcoming, fast rallies of the season.
The PWRC fight was quite awesome, where Portugese driver Armindo Araujo made a stunning performance leading the rally into the last day. However, on the penultimate, super-long stage of the Sunday he was overtaken by Patrik Sandell who had followed him closely during the weekend. No matter that fact, I think Araujo should be really happy about the weekend and consider the fact that group N cars usually have no chance against the Super2000 cars – something that have been proven both in the PWRC and in the IRC. For Sandell, the victory is the second PWRC victory in a row, placing him in a pleasant championship lead 7 points ahead of Araujo and 12 points ahead of Brynhildsen. For PWRC, I still miss another Super2000 driver – preferrably a Skoda driver – that can provide a measure to prove the quality of Sandell’s performances. Sandell has always been a smart driver, but not the fastest – and to see a driver like Mikkelsen as his teammate would be really, really interesting.
A funny thing during the weekend was to follow Matthew Wilson, a guy that has been a real slow-runner in the championship for the last few years. For this rally, he seems to have adopted a conservative approach from the beginning increasing his self-confidence and experience – and then increasing speed to set good times. The result was a quite low average of placings on the stages (7 in average, to be exact), but a quite good fifth position in the final standings and also a stage win on the final stage.
So, of course most drivers probably backed off on the last stage opening the way for Wilsons win – but one certainly didn’t, and in fact he makes all pieces fall into place to understand both Matthew Wilson’s stage win and other things. With most other positions in the rally settled, Sebastien Ogier overtook Wilson on the penultimate stage – giving him a 5 second lead over Wilson. Ogier’s performance has been criticised by many people, but I think his performance until the 13th stage was very good – with an average stage position of 5,5. It’s far better than Wilson, who has been doing full championships for a few years with a car well as good as Ogier. Anyway, of course both Wilson and Ogier wanted that fifth place badly – and both put in an extensive attack on the final stage. For Ogier, it all ended beside the road just 200 meters from the finish – while it ended up with a stage win and a good rally performance for Wilson. Life isn’t really fair – and of course it’s hard for Ogier now. Anyway, if it helps, when praising Wilsons performance – I think one should keep in mind that Ogier made a far better performance despite less experience – if he just would have kept on the road for another 200 meters. I think Ogier will slowly get better when gaining more and more experience, and he may surely be podium contender within a year or two.
It became a weekend exactly as expected as anyone could fear in Ireland. Loeb first and Sordo second. Hirvonen trying to challenge – but ending up in third and Jari-Matti Latvala failed to finish. One of the few surprises was that Pirellis Sottozero winter-tyres in many situations proved to be better suited to the conditions than the tarmac tyres because of the extremely heavy rain. Once again, tyre choices on tarmac proved crucial – but in the end of the first day everyone had learnt about the Sottozero advantage – and everything was back to normal in the results table.
Before the rally I hoped that Chris Atkinson would show new strength landing in a new car – the Citroen C4 WRC. Partially he did, as he showed some good speed on the second day. However, he also proved that he wants too much by making two off road excursions. One was a really serious high-speed accident on day one where the crew should be really happy to escape uninjured – and one happened on the last day. The later one was really a disappointment, since it happened while Atko was battling Henning Solberg for fourth place. Looking back in Atkinson’s records he has gone off way too many times while battling for places. By now, he really should have learnt to keep high speed while staying exactly within the limit. However, I still hope that Atko can get the finances ready for more rallies to show his speed. Subaru was a really bad car and it’s not easy to get into a new car and deliver immediately – especially not in the Irish conditions this weekend – so he should get a few chances more. Atko himself named Greece and Australia as possible rallies to drive.
Unfortunately, also Urmo Aava proved to be the same old Urmo as ever. He is really fast and for a short while in the beginning he led the rally. I hoped for him to stay on the road, but already on SS6 he ended up somewhere off the stage. He got back into the rally an ended 10th, but that doesn’t mean too much. I don’t know why it happens, but now that Urmo has a fast car to drive for almost a whole season he really needs to switch focus. He should start off slow (many others go embarassingly slow, so why not him?) and then slowly increase the speed until he reaches that limit where he can’t go faster without going off. Everyone in the business knows that he can be fast – but everyone also knows that he rarely stays on the road. I think he could do really good results even if he stayed at 98-99% of his capacity – and then with much lower risk to go off.
Luckily, Rally Ireland also offered some small but still good surprises. Reigning JWRC champion Sebastien Ogier only did his second rally in a WRC car but managed to finish sixth, scoring three championship points. Even though Ogier wasn’t very fast I consider this very promising. If he can manage to score sixth place in his second WRC rally, there should be no problem finding the speed when he has collected some more WRC experience. But by finishing such a difficult rally as Ireland, he shows a mature and serious approach. In two weeks Ogier has scored an IRC win in difficult Monte Carlo and then a sixth place in Ireland – which is a really, really impressive performance.
Second happy surprise was Henning Solberg, finishing the rally just outside the podium. Henning has consistently been a catastrophe on tarmac, but on the gravel-like bumpy tarmac in Ireland he found his pace. With the new, top-spec Ford Focus he managed to do some okay stagetimes and most important he stayed cold in the battle with Chris Atkinson. After seeing Henning do such a decent result on tarmac, you can’t keep from wondering what he will be up to in Norway in two weeks? I’ve seen him on snow a number of times – and even since I don’t consider Henning top notch WRC material I think he can really battle for the win in Norway. I would be really, really surprised if he didn’t beat Petter – at least if he manages to stay on the road with an intact car. We’ll see in two weeks – in a rally that hopefully is a little bit less predictable than Ireland…
Rally Ireland get’s closer and closer. The shakedown is to be run tomorrow, Thursday, between 08-12 local time on a 2.87km stage before the start ceremony in the evening in Enniskillen. The rally covers a total of 366.75 km divided into three legs. SS1 starts on Friday at 8:13 local timeand the last stage – a town stage in Donegal – starts at 13:10 on Sunday.
I think a few things are extra interesting regarding this event:
- How’s everybodys shape? This is the first of three races (Ireland-Tarmac, Norway-Snow, Cyprus-Gravel/Tarmac) that will show a sign of what everyone is up to on different surfaces.
- How will the Stobart guys and Citroen Juniors perform? What does Atkinson think about the C4, is Ogier’s good flow over or may he be a new Loeb? Will Henning charge now that he is said to have the best possible Ford backing – or will he wait for Norway?
- Will the temperature stay well over zero? After the difficulties in Wales and Japan last year with ice and snow, Pirelli has now made sure to bring their SottoZero tyre (no studs) to Ireland as a backup. If weather would change towards ice and snow the event will become really interesting and tyre choices will be crucial.
- And of course… Who will win? Sebastien Loeb is – as always on tarmac – a big favourite for sure. But you should not remember that the tarmac on Ireland is not like anywhere else. It’s twisty, narrow and bumpy and not at all like Monte, Germany or Corsica. The narrowness also makes one single mistake very likely to be fatal. Can he keep up the spirit?
But maybe most important…
- Can competitiors, Rally Ireland organisers, FIA and ISC together make the event interesting? I followed the IRC season opener Rally Monte Carlo last weekend and many people with me – and what I saw was stunning. Top fights in almost every stage, amazing live coverage on TV/web and an interesting strategy game with tyre choices, different levels of attack, etc. They set the level – and it is high!
- Good entrylist with more strong cars and good drivers
- Skoda – a surprisingly strong debut despite Hänninens off and Kopecky staying just outside the top three
- 6h of live TV coverage – superb!
- Impressive performances and attitudes of Hänninen, Meeke and Ogier – three future stars!
- Unpredictable weather with dry surface, ice and snowfall creating a totally unpredictable rally
- Various tyre-brands – creates one other interesting factor of unpredictability and difference between different cars
- Peugeot – three cars on the podium is really an outstanding performance
- Rally radio
- A good online results service