FIA World Rally Championship

Ogier Extends Championship Lead Despite Issues In Tour De Corse

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Sébastien Ogier was pleased to continue his strong start to the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship after increasing his lead at the top of the points table.

The Frenchman increased his lead at the top of the standings to 22 points after finishing on the podium for the fourth time in four events this season after taking second at last weekend’s Tour De Corse.

Ogier struggled at the beginning of the event trailing Citroen’s Kris Meeke after the M-Sport driver was unable to get to grips with the first tarmac event of the year in his new car. However, despite Meeke’s retirement midway through the second leg of stages, Ogier was unable to take advantage after his Fiesta hit hydraulic issues similar to fellow Ford driver Elfyn Evans and as a result would end day two 38.9 seconds behind new rally leader Thierry Neuville.

After seemingly curing the Fiesta’s problems as the final day got underway, new electrical gremlins struck and Ogier again struggled throughout the mammoth 53km Poggio di Nazza stage.

After frantic roadside repairs before the ‘Power’ final stage, the Frenchman managed to repair the issues and not just finish on the podium, but would move back into second in the standings ahead of Dani Sordo and take four bonus points in the process after recording the second quickest time.

Ogier was pleased after a frustrating weekend. He said: “This Tour de Corse had ended with a positive result as regards the championship. This was our fourth time on the podium over the four rallies of the season, allowing us to score big points again and keep up a good average. So the overall outcome was good from a points perspective, in spite of a roller coaster of a weekend for us. Reliability let us down, with a hydraulic problem on Saturday and electronic issues on Sunday, both of which were detrimental to our result.”

The defending champion also added: “As regards the work done throughout the weekend on set-up, this was important and will help me to better understand the car. Everything is not perfect, it’s true, but all the information gathered will help us to set up the car better for the future. We continue to progress in the right direction.”

The next round of the World Rally Championship takes place at the at the YPF Rally Argentina between April 27-30.

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