WRC - Ogier cruises to victory and takes overall lead
Perfect rally for the frenchman
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have secured the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC’s second victory of the year at this weekend’s Rally Mexico.
The victory comes 14 years after the Blue Oval’s last Mexican triumph – when Markko Märtin and the late Michael Park piloted their Ford Focus RS WRC to the win.
Highlighting the successful partnership between M-Sport and Ford, just as Martin had done in 2004, Ogier delivered the perfect performance – speed and intelligence combined to secure yet another victory.
The result reinstates Ogier and Ingrassia at the head of the FIA World Rally Championship standings for Drivers and Co-Drivers, and propels the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team from fourth to second in the Manufacturers’ standings.
But the Fiesta didn’t just perform at the highest level – strong performances in the WRC 2 category highlighting the effectiveness of M-Sport and Ford’s ‘Ladder of Opportunity.’
Securing career-best performances behind the wheel of their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5s, Gus Greensmith and Pedro Heller secured second and third places in the WRC 2 category as well as their first driver points for ninth and tenth places overall.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“The way Sébastien and Julien tackled this event has just been extraordinary. It was an incredible performance right from the start and what they achieved from their road position on Friday was amazing. Then on Saturday afternoon, we saw Sébastien at his best. In my opinion that has to be his best drive since joining the team – going from fifth to first in the space of a day was quite remarkable.
“The pressure is most definitely on us as a team now. We know they are not going to let us down, and we need to ensure everything is 100 percent at every rally. But it was great to see the progress that we’ve made. This time last year we weren’t quite able to challenge for the win, but this year was a different story. We haven’t stopped working, and it’s great to see all the hard work paying off.”
Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsport, Mark Rushbrook, said:
“Congratulations to Sébastien and Julien on today’s well-deserved victory. Coming from a nearly 30 second deficit to win by more than a minute is incredible. We are proud of the work that the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has done with the Ford Fiesta WRC, and look forward to the team’s continued success in 2018."
Sébastien Ogier (1st) said:
“I’m super happy today and this win is a fantastic way for me and Julien to celebrate our tenth year anniversary in the FIA World Rally Championship. It started in 2008 with a win in the Junior category and so many great things have happened here since then – this win, I think, being one of the best.
“This weekend we really gave it everything. Julien was perfect, and the team were so strong as well. The victory is great of course, but it’s the performance that was really good. We’ve made such a big improvement from last year, and that is a big positive for the rest of the season.
“I was pretty much on the limit all weekend. When you’re early on the road you’re trying your best but the time is still far away from those starting behind. There’s always some frustration coming with that, but you have to keep going and not give up.
“That’s what we did, and on the second day – when our road position was a bit better – we kept pushing and were able to take the lead in the afternoon.
“We can be very proud this weekend, and there’s not a lot we could have done better. We gave it everything – right up until the final stage.”