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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ogier’s dangerous tyre resolution a “intelligent name” says Toyota WRC boss

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The 2021 Safari Rally winner made a daring resolution to take just one spare wheel, as a substitute of two, for Friday’s six phases at a rally famend for being tough on tyres.

The decision proved to be an impressed transfer as Ogier used his lighter GR Yaris to good impact, profitable 4 of the six phases to head into Saturday with a 22.8s advantage over team-mate Kalle Rovanpera.

It was a calculated threat from the eight-time world champion, who elected to solely push on the smoother phases of the loop.

“At first individuals thought it was a dangerous alternative however in the long run it was a calculated one after seeing the circumstances this morning of the primary two phases of the loop weren’t that tough when it comes to tyre threat,” Ogier advised Autosport.

“I used to be principally making a calculation that may enable myself to drive much more clear and don’t be arduous on the tyres, after which actually attempt to keep away from punctures by solely having one spare and being lighter. It was principally my concept and I’m glad it labored.”

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Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

The choice impressed Toyota boss Latvala, who unusually issued a directive to his drivers to be affected person forward of Friday’s phases, given how simple it’s to hit hassle on Kenya’s roads.

“It was a intelligent name from him in a method, as a result of for those who do it it’s a must to do issues a bit in a different way as a result of it’s a must to be a bit extra cautious when you may have just one spare,” stated Latvala.

“You may’t assault the identical manner. However then again the automotive has much less inertia so there may be much less going sideways, so it offers you extra profit. He was utilizing that good thing about much less inertia after which when it was tough the was taking it a bit simpler.”

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It’s extremely unlikely Ogier will decide for a similar technique on Saturday which is tipped to offer the hardest circumstances of the rally.

“It [Saturday] is the longest and trickiest day of the occasion and 20 seconds just isn’t that a lot given what we have now to face tomorrow, however after all it’s higher to be the place we’re,” Ogier added.

“It will likely be about driving quick nonetheless but in addition managing some sections which are going to be extraordinarily tough. Tomorrow going for one spare could be extra of a raffle.”

Ogier’s nearest rival Rovanpera additionally declared his Friday successful to finish the loop in second having began first on the highway.

With championship rival Thierry Neuville out of the rally, the Finn is in prime place to additional prolong his championship lead.

Though firmly within the victory hunt, Rovanpera believes a managed strategy is his finest type of assault for Saturday’s phases.

“Saturday appears essentially the most robust day and if the rain comes it may be actually fascinating,” Rovanpera advised Autosport.

“There’s a likelihood the place we’ll go for it, however we have to play the lengthy sport on this rally like final 12 months, it’s best to attempt to keep out of hassle.”

Toyota ended Friday occupying the highest three spots with Elfyn Evans sitting third, 43.5s adrift. The fourth automotive pushed by Takamoto Katsuta will begin Saturday in fifth after a busy Friday.

The Japanese was compelled to restore a broken decrease arm on the highway within the morning, earlier than a run in with a zebra and a tree broken his automotive within the afternoon.

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