Sébastien Ogier rated Sunday’s victory at Coates Hire Rally Australia that moved him within touching distance of his second FIA World Rally Championship title as one of the best of his career.
The Frenchman returned to the top step of the podium in Coffs Harbour after being beaten by Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala in Finland and twice crashing in Germany last month, after which he admitted he was struggling for motivation.
But after holding off Latvala in Australia to open a 50-point lead over the Finn in the drivers’ standings with just three rounds remaining, Ogier said the victory was special.
“That was a really good one. Jari-Matti was in a strong rhythm and I needed to keep the pace high. I did what I had to do. I’m really proud of this win, especially after some difficult weeks.
“I did some work on myself with my motivation, which wasn’t so strong. I had more ambition and motivation than in the last few weeks,” he said.
Ogier believes that victory early next month at his home event in France, where he clinched the 2013 world title, could be enough to seal his second crown.
“This is a great step for the drivers’ title. We are 50 points ahead and one victory will be enough. That’s the plan in France, but first I want enjoy this one and then focus on France.
“I have fantastic memories from last year and it’s possible again, but this time I need the victory. Let’s wait and see. I will have the same approach and try to stay clever and be fast and strong. I will not have to give absolutely everything to win, a podium will be good,” he added.
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