Friday | 14 Oct 2016

Ogier pledges Spanish fightback

Sébastien Ogier has pledged to try and wrestle the lead of RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España from Dani Sordo when the competitive action resumes on Saturday.

Ogier can wrap up a fourth consecutive WRC drivers' title this weekend, and said before the start that he wanted to do that in style, by claiming a fifth win of the season on the rally he won  in 2013 and 2014.

The Frenchman led the rally midway through Friday's opening day in his Volkswagen Polo R, but was reeled in by Sordo's Hyundai i20 in the afternoon loop to end the day second, trailing the Spaniard by 17sec.

With two more days of the rally to go, and a switch from gravel to Tarmac stages, Ogier said his target was to overturn the local hero's advantage.

"Okay, 17 seconds is some gap, and we know that Dani is strong here on Tarmac as well, but for sure we won't give up," he said. "Tomorrow morning we will try to start on Tarmac and see how the gap is changing. There is still some fight going on."

Saturday is the longest leg of the rally, and comprises eight Tarmac stages north of host town Salou, including two that use roads from previous years run in the opposite direction. Ogier believes one of these could be key to his challenge.

"All the stages are pretty short, so it will be important to be fast everywhere, but if there's one stage where you can maybe make a difference I think it's the second stage of the loop [Alcover - Capafonts]. It's a new one - at least in the reverse direction - so maybe there's more to be made there," he told wrc.com.

Sordo, who has never won his home round of the championship, said he was ready to defend his position. "Tomorrow we need to try and keep the gap. I'm sure Sébastien will push like hell for the win - like always - but we will try to do our best to be concentrated and push hard," he said.

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