Ogier hobbled in the altitude of Mexico

French star admits he’s not enjoying driving on the high-altitude stages


By Franck Drui

9 March 2012 - 20:04
Ogier hobbled in the altitude of (...)

Altitude on the stages of Rally Guanajuato Mexico can rob World Rally Cars of up to 20 per cent of their total power due to the thin air. But Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sebastien Ogier is discovering that the task is even tougher in a Super 2000 car.

Ogier is driving a Skoda Fabia S2000 on all the rounds of this year’s World Rally Championship as his Volkswagen team prepares the Polo R WRC for its competition debut in 2013.

With significantly less power than a World Rally Car at his disposal, Ogier knew he would struggle on the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia. But the lack of pace of the S2000 machines on the stages has shocked him.

“I think we’re probably getting less than 200 horsepower out of it here,” he said. “I’m not even able to spin the wheels. I always knew that the car wouldn’t be fast here, but I was surprised at how slow it was. Unfortunately, this is probably the most boring time I’ve ever had driving a rally car. Even when I was here with the Citroen C2, in the Junior World Rally Championship in 2008, I felt that I was going quicker.”

At the end of the first morning’s action Ogier is 13th overall, having set a top-10 stage time on the Ortega stage. Despite his relative lack of pace though, Ogier is entering into the spirit of things; at the ceremonial start in Guanajuato last night the Frenchman was waving to the crowds from the roof of his car.

“There’s a really nice atmosphere and I love the rally,” he said. “It’s just that I would enjoy it even more in a World Rally Car!”


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