Rally Italia Update #7
Ogier edges closer to Ostberg in second place
Sebastien Ogier was planning to take the fight to Mads Ostberg for second place on SS9 and that’s exactly what he did. The world champion finished the final stage of the day 1.9s behind his pacesetting team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala and, with Ostberg 15.5s off the ultimate pace, Ogier had done more than enough to edge past his rival Citroen rival into second place at the end of a gruelling first day.
While Ogier’s confidence had increased throughout the day, Ostberg’s bid to fend off the Frenchman was hindered by a set of windscreen wipers that had stopped working on his DS3 WRC. “Our pace (on this stage) has been too slow,” he admitted. "Our wipers don’t work at the moment and we have a lot of flies on the windscreen. When the sun was shining on the window we couldn’t see so I had to slow down.”
With Ostberg being forced to slow down on the final stage, his compatriot Andreas Mikkelsen was able to edge a step closer to his third place. His third fastest stage time – a performance that he thought was compromised by his tyre strategy – took the VW driver to within 4s of Ostberg’s Citroen. “We could have another Norwegian battle tomorrow with Mads – just like the good old days,” he predicted.