Ogier told to go for it
Volkswagen boss gives Ogier the green light to try and regain the lead
The boss of Volkswagen Motorsport has given Sebastien Ogier the green light to try and fight Sebastien Loeb for the Rally Argentina lead he lost this morning.
Ogier dropped from first to third on Friday’s second stage when his Polo R understeered off the road and he took 40 seconds to get back underway.
Ogier now trails Loeb’s Citroen DS3 by 26.3sec with 163km competitive kilometres of the rally still to go.
After the midday service in Carlos Paz, Volkswagen Motorsport team principal Jost Capito said Ogier was free to try and snatch back the lead.
“When he got in the car he asked me ‘what do we do?’ I said go for it but don’t be stupid,” Capito told wrc.com.
“I think he has proven in the last rallies that he can do just that. He knows that he’s driving for the championship but of course he wants to win. I would not hold him back if he can do it. He is free to do whatever he thinks is right. And I’m sure he can do it.”
Early in the service Ogier talked more about the incident that cost him the lead. “We had a problem with the handbrake, like we had for a long time,” he explained.
“It was a long right-hand tightening corner – a fast one – and the exit was full of mud. I started to understeer a little bit and I wanted to help the car with the handbrake but unfortunately it locked the front and I understeered more. I have no option but to go off the road.”
Volkswagen replaced the complete handbrake and differential lock system in service and are analysing whether or not the system was faulty.
Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala’s cars are fitted with the same type of system, which is known to be slow at releasing drive to the front wheels when the handbrake is pulled.
The third Polo R of Andreas Mikkelsen is fitted with a new, different system that is faster but unproven in competition.
Despite Ogier’s desire to use the new system immediately, the team is unwilling to introduce it until they are hapy with its reliability.
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