Mon 30 Oct 2023

Ogier takes positives despite CER frustrations

After a tricky start to last week’s Central European Rally, Toyota driver Sébastien Ogier found positives including stage wins on his way to a hard-earned fourth place on Sunday evening.

The eight-time world champion’s event began badly when his GR Yaris Rally1 suffered a damaged rim on Friday morning’s opener. He re-grouped in time for the weekend and won stages across the Austrian and German roads on Saturday and Sunday.

While his efforts to catch Ott Tänak’s third place came up just short, the Frenchman admitted he’d been able to enjoy himself on the final-day sunshine.

“This rally was always going to be tricky with my start position further down the road on Friday,” he said. “And I don’t think it will be remembered as one of my strongest performances. I found some motivation to continue on Friday and it’s good that we did. The event became more enjoyable when the conditions were drier and we could push a little bit.

“At least we could take some fastest times from the weekend. Now I’m looking forwards to Japan, where I want to finish the season on a high.”

Ogier was quick to pay tribute to his world championship-winning team-mates.

He added: “Congratulations to Kalle [Rovanperä] and Jonne [Halttunen]. They did another impressive season and I’m sure this will not be the last one. At the same time, I feel sorry for Elfyn [Evans] because he made a good fight with Kalle this season.”

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