Reigning champion Sébastien Ogier heads in to this weeks YPF Rally Argentina in an optimistic mood as he looks to take victory on the one race that has eluded him so far in his WRC career.
Aside from Rally China which makes its return to the FIA World Rally Championship calendar later this year for the first time since 1999, Ogier has had a frustrating relationship with the South American country, and while he has finished on the podium there three times, he is yet to stand on the top step.
“Argentina is the only rally on the calendar I have not yet won,” said Ogier. “This year will not be easy either because we will once again be the first car onto the route. Whatever happens, I will do my best to improve my record here and to win for the first time.
“I’m very optimistic about Argentina. However, the weather can be tricky. Thick fog often restricts visibility, which is not very pleasant for a rally driver. As far as the surface is concerned, we must adapt from Mexico, as the gravel is much softer and the ground far sandier. It requires a different driving style.”
Volkswagen can also make history this weekend if Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala or Andreas Mikkelsen take victory as it would mark the manufacturers thirteenth consecutive victory, making it a entire year unbeaten.
2015 saw the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT team take the two top spots, handing Kris Meeke his first ever WRC victory as the Volkswagen Motorsport team suffered a nightmare weekend.
“Once around the world without a single defeat is something no manufacturer has ever achieved,” said Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito. “But we know that the last time we were not successful was in Argentina, so we need to raise our game.”
The YPF Rally Argentina starts on this evening and with competitors facing 18 special stages covering 364.68km before Sunday afternoon’s finish.