View from the service park
Reflections from an absorbing weekend on the Turquoise Coast
A daring tyre choice on Saturday morning paid dividends, allowing him to move within striking distance of Citroën Racing team-mate Esapekka Lappi’s event lead while title rivals Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville hit trouble and fell out of contention.
Ogier claimed top spot later in the day and eased through Sunday’s final leg to slash a pre-start 40-point deficit to championship leader Tänak to just 17. A maximum of 90 points are available from the final three rounds.
It was Ogier’s first win since Mexico in what he labelled a make-or-break event before Thursday evening’s start in Marmaris.
“This victory has really come at the right moment for us because we had no more margin for error in this final part of the season. We went into this rally knowing that we had to score big points to stay in the running for the title and we managed that,” he said.
“The C3 WRC was reliable and we were consistent, two parameters that are essential on this event with its extreme conditions, notably the heat and the profiles of its stages, the roughest of the season.”
With two dirt road rounds in Britain and Australia and a mixed surface event in Spain remaining, Ogier’s upbeat mood was in stark contrast to his disappointment in Germany three weeks ago when a lowly eighth place finish provided a massive setback.
He cautioned that there was still plenty of hard work ahead to keep alive the dream of a seventh crown.
“I’m happy to get this win for the team. It’s good for our championship position and it should give us a boost for the end of season run-in. We can’t forget what our final objective is, though, and we all know that there’s a lot still to be done to reach it,” he added.