Ogier: ‘We were lucky’
Frenchman will rejoin on Saturday after exit today
Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia were lucky to walk away from the accident, which happened early in Saturday’s second stage, Peterberg.
It was the second crash in a miserable event for the defending world champion, who drove off the road on Friday’s opening leg but rejoined today as a Rally 2 entrant.
“The accident happened about a kilometre into the eighth stage,” Ogier explained. “We were in sixth gear on a long straight. Then there was a slight right turn over a crest. The jump was a bit further than we thought, the rear broke off when we landed and I lost control of the car.
“We smashed into the crash barrier and came to a stop on a slope with smallish trees. The most important thing at that point was that Julien and I realised that we were both okay. They took us to hospital for routine tests but we both walked away without injury.”
The Polo R was taken back to Volkswagen’s service area where engineers discovered its roll cage had been damaged. Ogier said: “The car suffered a bit more because unfortunately the jump was pretty brutal.”
Volkswagen Motorsport boss Jost Capito retired the car on safety grounds, even though he believed it could have been repaired in the three-hour period allowed for Rally 2 entrants, and Ogier and Ingrassia were keen to rejoin on Sunday.