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Ogier ready for first WRC title

2013-10-02 20:33

GIVING IT HORNS: Sebastien Ogier (VW Polo) is ready to clinch his first World Rally title and needs only one more point to do so. Image: AFP

  Video

A motorsport fanatic’s delight – breathtaking rally action filmed in slow-motion! Watch a 2013 World Rally championship wrap (rounds 1 – 10) of driver Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia in their Volkswagen Polo R WRC.

STRASBOURG, France - Frenchman Sebastien Ogier is poised to clinch his first World Rally championship on home soil this weekend while his compatriot and nine-time former champion Sebastien Loeb bows out of rallying.

The VW Polo driver came agonisingly close to securing the title during September in Australia, when Belgium's Thierry Neuville grabbed second place at the death to stay mathematically in contention.

BOLD SHDES

But with an 83-point gap to overturn and only 84 points left to gather in the season's three remaining rallies, the Ford driver is facing what amounts to Mission Impossible.

Ogier could ensure the title as early as Thursday afternoon if Neuville fails to take the three points that go to the winner of the opening Power Stage. And even if he does win that, Ogier will be home and dry if he takes just one point himself.

Ogier insists that while capturing the title is his ultimate goal he still wants to win in style by taking the Rally of France, which is being held in the eastern region of Alsace. Ogier told AFP after the Rally of Australia: "I am out to win but I want to become  champion with panache. It would be frustrating for me if Loeb won the rally at the same time as I become champion.

"I think I deserve better than that and it's up to me to ensure that this scenario does not occur."

GOOD SPIRITS

Loeb, the most successful driver in rallying history, has competed only three times during the 2013 season which, he has said, will be his last in the sport. And he, too, wants to sign out in style saying that, fellow-Frenchman or not, he will not make it easy for Ogier.

Loeb said: "My aim is to achieve the best result but you have to bear in mind that I haven't competed in a rally since the start of May 2013. Even then, it was on gravel in Argentina.

"There's no pressure on me, no championship to go for, and I've nothing to prove. Above all, I'm here to enjoy myself and to thank all the people who have supported me for so long. I hope it'll be a great big party."

Neuville said he had two main objectives - to hold on to second place in the championship and to beat Loeb for the first time in his career.
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Read more on:    sebastien ogier  |  sebastien loeb  |  france  |  motorsport  |  wrc

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