Ogier: It’s harder fighting with yourself
Frenchman in a class of his own for much of the event
World Champion Sebastien Ogier believes his Wales Rally GB got more difficult after his chief rival Jari-Matti Latvala dropped out of the fight for victory and left him with a comfortable lead of more than a minute.
The Volkswagen duo dominated the rally’s opening day, taking four wins apiece and pulling an astonishing 1m07sec clear of the chasing pack.
But the duel ended on Saturday’s opening stage when Latvala put his Polo R off the road and dropped to tenth, leaving Ogier in a class of his own with two full days on slippery Welsh roads to go.
“We started by going flat-out on Friday but my rally completely changed following Jari-Matti’s mistake,” Ogier explained. “After that, it became a case of controlling everything, but since this was a proper Wales Rally GB with tricky conditions over all three days, there was never any room to relax.
“Compared to the fight it’s maybe more difficult to try to drive safe - it’s so hard to find the right balance. You need to be not too slow, you don’t want to lose the feeling because that’s when the set-up feels wrong and nothing is working any more. I had to fight against myself a bit to find the right balance.”
Ogier’s Welsh win was his eighth of the year and brought the curtain down on a record breaking season for Volkswagen. The twelfth of a possible 13 wins saw the German manufacturer eclipse the previous record of eleven, held by Citroën.
Volkswagen also equalled the record eight one-twos in a season, set by Peugeot back in 2002, and wrapped up the Manufacturers’ title at the earliest point of the season for 25 years.
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