Friday | 03 Oct 2014

Faulty sensor blamed for Ogier nightmare

A faulty gearbox sensor was responsible for the lack of power that cost Sebastien Ogier more than four minutes on the second stage of Rallye de France - Alsace.

Ogier, who had a chance of wrapping up the drivers’ title this weekend, began the stage 0.3sec off the lead, but dropped to 40th position when the engine in his Polo R World Rally Car kept cutting power.

Ogier’s woes were compounded soon afterwards, when co-driver Julien Ingrassia mistakenly checked them into Stage three early, ignoring the fact that the rally itinerary had been delayed. The error earned them a four-minute penalty.

Team boss Jost Capito said: “The problem on stage two was down to the gearbox shift sensor. It was giving the wrong data to the engine, which meant Seb did not have power when he was not on wide-open throttle. It’s not a problem we’ve experienced before, and we will send the unit off for analysis. In service the sensor was changed and we replaced the gearbox as well as a precaution.”

Capito felt Ingrassia’s efforts to find a solution to the sensor problem contributed to the subsequent early check-in.
“They did not have any time in between the two stages, so during SS2 Julien was looking and checking the [instruction] manual and dash display, and afterwards also on the road section. Stage two was four minutes delayed but they did not take this delay to Stage three,” he explained.

“If it is four minutes or eight minutes it's not a big deal, so I think they are happy that both things happened on the same event and not over two events.
“Julien knows that he doesn't do mistakes but that mistakes under these circumstances can happen. I don't have to tell him off because he is the guy who is most angry about himself.”

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