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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Ogier explains luckless WRC Acropolis Rally exit

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The eight-time world rally champion was locked in a battle for victory with Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, with the pair swapping positions across Saturday’s stages.

Ogier inherited the rally lead on stage 9 when Neuville a hit a hole in the road that precipitated terminal suspension injury.

That left Ogier, who’s driving a part-time WRC season this 12 months, with a 12.4s benefit over Toyota team-mate and championship chief Kalle Rovanpera until drama struck in the day’s last test.

The Frenchman suffered a double rear puncture earlier than his rally in the end got here to an finish when his left rear suspension failed.

Ogier managed to complete the stage, shedding 4 minutes which demoted him to fourth general, however was pressured to desert an effort to succeed in the service park.

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“The entire afternoon was truly fairly eventful,” mentioned Ogier. “It began I feel on the similar nook Thierry had his problem as I additionally had an affect, it was fairly laborious to keep away from this gap.

“My entrance proper wishbone was additionally a bit broken, however clearly it was nonetheless driveable. I managed to repair it and was nonetheless managing to have good tempo on this stage and the subsequent one.

“After which once I restarted from the re-group there was no hybrid anymore. Clearly I knew I’d lose a little bit of time with out hybrid, however that was not the most important problem we had.

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“After a few kilometres, we began to have a puncture within the rear and nearly after {that a} second one appeared, so we had a double puncture on the rear after which I made a decision to hold on slowly.

“Sadly on the exit of hairpin, that seemed like one of many smoothest on the stage, I heard a bang on the rear and my upright was damaged. When an upright is damaged it is extremely laborious to carry the automobile again, however I attempted every thing I may.

“We managed to do a few kilometres, however with 12 kilometres to service… We nearly may have made it but it surely began to be not first rate to proceed, as a result of we had been shedding numerous components.”

Ogier admitted it was a tricky retirement to take, however confirmed that he’ll rejoin the rally on Sunday below restart guidelines.

“In fact it’s all the time robust to take and is all the time irritating,” he added. “Someway since I’m not doing the complete championship anymore, the luck has been misplaced a bit, perhaps that’s the worth to pay.

“It’s by no means good however there may be nonetheless two [Toyota] vehicles on the rostrum and Kalle was doing a fantastic job anyway so you can not say that he has stolen this victory.

“He was first on the highway yesterday and did every thing he may. In fact, I’d have appreciated to battle with him till the tip.”

Ogier’s exit has handed Rovanpera a 2m04.4s lead over Hyundai’s Dani Sordo, with Toyota’s Elfyn Evans third and M-Sport’s Ott Tanak boosted to fourth.



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