Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

Sebastien Ogier has a ‘fantastic feeling’ after winning Rally of Mexico with Volkswagen ‘in style’

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Published: 11 March 2013


He’s done the double and dominated the Rally of Mexico this weekend to take him 28 points clear in the WRC Drivers’ World Championship standings.

After finishing second in January’s Monte Carlo Rally, Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen stunned the motorsport world when he won on the snow in Sweden several weeks later. With some believing the pace was simply because the car was good in the conditions, Volkswagen have proved the Polo R WRC can win this year’s championship.

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Winning 16 stages and finishing with a lead of three-and-a-half minutes, Sebastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia won the third round of the 2013 World Rally Championship in style in one of the most dangerous nations on earth – where the Mexican Drug War continuing to worsen.

“What a fantastic feeling,” Sebastien Ogier said, beaming a smile across the room. “The Polo R WRC was perfect for every single minute of the Rally Mexico. I can only thank my team for that. This victory at our debut on gravel is very special and will always have a special place in my heart. We will definitely celebrate it in style tonight.”

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Despite this, he was flawless and dominated from start to finish, and even won the prestigious Power Stage, earning him a further three points towards taking the crown of ‘World Rally Champion’ at the final meeting of the year: the Wales Rally of Great Britain this November.

The 29-year-old added: “We take every win as it comes. On the final morning, I took an extremely cautious approach on the first special stage and steered around every stone. However, from midway through I put my foot down again. We obviously have a big lead now in the World Championship, but there are still another ten rallies to come.”

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Driving at 2,700 metres above sea level resulted in a 30 per cent drop in engine performance so for the team to come out on top proves the 315bhp modified Volkswagen engine is reliable and can thrust the team to greater heights.

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Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito said: “To be honest: never in our wildest dreams did we expect this kind of success at our very first gravel rally with the Polo R WRC. We prepared meticulously for the World Rally Championships, and left nothing to chance in the run up to the Rally Mexico. It is impossible to overrate Sebastien Ogier’s performance: the Ogier factor was what made the difference here. It allowed us to challenge for the win right from the word go. Respect.”

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Through the heat, hills and testing conditions, Jari-Matti Latvala had incredible misfortune when the Finnish driver and 2010 World Rally Championship runner-up was forced to retire from day two’s action as a result of suspension damage.

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He managed to get up-and-running again and zoomed through to third in the Power Stage – earning an additional point which could prove crucial at the end of the season.

With 30 days to go until the Rally of Portugal (April 11 to 14), Andreas Mikkelsen – who recently spoke to Motortrades Insight Editor Danny Hewitt – will join Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala as the teams head to Europe.


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