Ogier calls for technical focus
FIA World Rally Championship leader Sébastien Ogier has urged his M-Sport team to get to the bottom of the technical issues that denied him the chance to fight for victory at last weekend’s Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse.
Although struggling with the set-up of his Ford Fiesta WRC early on and lacking confidence on his home event, Ogier kept himself in contention with a series of top two stage times.
After conceding ground on Saturday morning, the combination of Kris Meeke’s retirement and midday service modifications enabled the Frenchman to go back on the attack. He narrowed the deficit to new leader Thierry Neuville to just 2.2sec by the end of stage seven.
That, however, was where his hopes of adding a second win to his 2017 tally ended. A loss of hydraulic pressure on the final test of the day and an intermittent electrical fault the following morning dropped him to third behind Dani Sordo.
A temporary fix allowed Ogier to regain the runner-up spot and increase his championship lead in the event-ending Power Stage, but he warned there was work to be done if he and M-Sport are to continue their title challenge, with an upcoming five-day test the immediate focus.
“It was definitely a rollercoaster weekend,” Ogier reflected. “Up and down all the time. Luckily for us, it finished on a high note with really good points – better than I was hoping for – but reliability let us down, which was detrimental to our result. That was disappointing, especially as it was shaping up to be a really enjoyable battle with Thierry.
“We had the speed to fight with him, but there were a few too many technical problems, not only on our car but also on both of our team-mates’ cars. That’s something the team has to work very hard on, because we don’t want to be in this stressful situation again.”
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