HOW OGIER SECURED A SWEDEN TRIPLE
RALLY SWEDEN Volkswagen star tops them all again – despite weather dramas
my favourites. and we
A similar Rammen exiting over Ogier. through same odds tickle
The stage powerstage; falling
With his weapon out for
Not knew going
“I knew Paddon anything let’s be – we were on speed Continued
Ogier 8m 53.0s Ogier Mikkelsen +0.3s
SS2 Rojden 1 (11.47 miles)
Ogier 9m 32.3s Ogier Mikkelsen +6.9s
SS3 Svullrya 1 (15.06 miles)
Ogier 12m 47.9s Ogier Mikkelsen +24.2s
SS4 Svullrya 2 (15.06 miles)
Meeke 12m 44.2s Ogier Meeke +21.0s
SS5 Rojden 2 (11.47 miles)
Paddon 9m 52.8s Ogier Paddon +30.9s
SS6 Torsby (10.24 miles)
Paddon 8m 56.6s Ogier Paddon +26.9s
SS7 Fredriksberg (11.30 miles)
Fastest: Ogier 9m 43.4s Leader: Ogier Second: Paddon +32.4s
SS8 Vargasen 1 (15.35 miles)
Fastest: Latvala 12m 56.7s Leader: Ogier Second: Paddon +8.8s
SS9 Rammen (14.14 miles)
Fastest: Latvala 11m 03.2s Leader: Ogier Second: Paddon +10.2s
SS10 Vargasen 2 (15.35 miles)
Fastest: Ogier 12m 48.8s Leader: Ogier Second: Paddon +15.9s
SS11 Karlstad (1.18 miles)
Fastest: Latvala 1m 34.9s Leader: Ogier Second: Paddon +17.1s
SS12 Vermullsasen 2 (9.86 miles)
Fastest: Ogier 7m 42.7s Leader: Ogier Second: Paddon +29.8s
Continued from page 21
If it was speed you were after, Ogier was the man. He ripped through Rammen, 1.4s faster than his rival. “I was completely flat out!” said Ogier. “It was fun.”
The gap sat at a fraction over 10 seconds. Vargasen again.
And Ogier’s moment. And it was a big, big, very big one.
On the limiter in top coming towards a toweringly quick right over a small crest, the Julien Ingrassia call was for a feather-like lift. Ogier did as he was told, but on the way into the corner, the rear of the car became unsettled.
At 120mph, the Polo’s left-rear dived into the trees. It took Ogier two handfuls of lock to pull it back. The crew-facing onboard showed a wide-eyed Ingrassia look up briefly from his notes. Ogier blinked, his brain still trying to compute what just happened. Instinctively, neither missed a beat.
“That was a close one,” Ogier admitted at the finish, buzzing like a man who has just walked out of a police station carrying a smoking gun. “We were over the limit in that corner. I think I had my lucky star with me today. That moment was almost the end and that’s not the place you want to end. It would have been 200kph directly to the trees. I get this problem sometimes on the second loop of stages, the line is a little bit disturbed in the corner and the rear gets loose. I have to say, this one was quite scary. I kept it on the road, but, for sure, there was some luck this time.”
That moment made time, another five seconds. And with just a superspecial (admittedly a muddy and very tricky one at that) in Karlstad and Varmullsasen to come, Ogier was looking good. He doesn’t normally drop these. He didn’t. Victory on the powerstage sealed the perfect start to the year.
“It’s nice to make the perfect start for the first time in my career,” he said. The win, however, had been made on his own super Saturday.
“In terms of pure speed, with the conditions I have, that was one of the best of my life,” he said. “I never had so many moments in one day of rallying.”
Ogier took his extra gear in Sweden last week and nobody could live with him. If there is any consolation for the chasing pack it comes from the fact that an on the limit Ogier was forced to ride his luck. Paddon and his pals have seen that, if they can keep the pressure on, they could force a mistake.
But, for now, the monkey stays on Paddon’s back. For now.
Ostberg won his race with Mikkelsen to be top Norwegian home in third, while Ott Tanak turned in a great drive to fifth, bagging DMACK its best result in the snow.
Dani Sordo was sixth and could potentially have been more of a threat without a puncture. Henning Solberg made a welcome and entertaining return in seventh, one place ahead of Craig Breen, who made eighth on his Citroen debut, upholding the honour of the French firm after an errant rock robbed a second-placed-running Kris Meeke of a shot at the win for the second rally in succession. The Northern Irishman deserved more. His fellow Brit Elfyn Evans got everything he deserved after a second successive Wrc2-winning drive in M-sport’s Ford Fiesta R5.
But in terms of that event and this report, there’s only one way to end it – with the news that Rally Sweden pulls a three-year deal to remain in the World Rally Championship from the jaws of absolute despair.
You’ve got it: it’s a death row pardon, this time it’s not too late.
Thanks Alanis. ■
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