Volkswagen Motorsport come to Sardinia having won all but one of the five rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship so far this season and they will be looking to make it six this weekend on Rally Italia.
Sebastien Ogier comes into the event well in control of the series but he hasn’t won since Mexico. The French driver will run first on the road which will hinder his performance, an issue which he has voiced concern over in recent days, but Ogier says there shouldn’t be any issue in terms of car performance.
“The Polo R WRC is in great shape ahead of the Rally Italy.” said the French man, “Julien and I are also perfectly prepared for one of the toughest rallies of the year. With temperatures currently over 30 degrees in the shade, it will certainly be extremely hot in the cockpit here on Sardinia. This means we will have to push ourselves to the limit physically.”
Jari-Matti Latvala is looking to continue his good run of form after victory last time out in Portugal. The Finnish driver is raring to go.
“We prepared well for the Rally Italy in the Shakedown. It is very technical this year – even more than last year.” said Latvala. “There are a few really beautiful and challenging special stages. We found a good rhythm right from the start today – I am ready!”
Andreas Mikkelsen comes to Sardinia still in search of his first win of the season. The Norwegian driver has enjoyed four podiums from six starts and is in good form.
“The times [in shakedown] clearly illustrate the difference between the first, second and third runs.” said Mikkelsen, “With this in mind, we will face an additional challenge as one of the first cars onto the route tomorrow and on Saturday. Furthermore, a lot of the scheduled stages are very tough on the car – some of them even more so than in Argentina. It will be anything but an easy rally for everyone. However, this certainly does not mean that I am not really looking forward to it.“