x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Sebastien Ogier wants to make amends at Rally Germany for Volkswagen

Sebastien Ogier has double motivation to shine in this weekend’s all-tarmac Rally of Germany, the ninth leg of the 2014 season. Kris Meeke and Mads Ostberg will lead Citroen Total Abu Dhabi’s hopes while Mohamed Al Mutawaa is to represent the Emirates in the WRC feeder series, the WRC 3.

Thierry Neuville takes his Hyundai I20 for a shakedown cruise prior to today’s Rally Germany at Trier. EPA Photo
Thierry Neuville takes his Hyundai I20 for a shakedown cruise prior to today’s Rally Germany at Trier. EPA Photo

TRIER, Germany // Sebastien Ogier has double motivation to shine in this weekend’s all-tarmac Rally of Germany, the ninth leg of the 2014 season.

If Ogier claims his sixth win of the year, he will move a significant step closer to defending his world title.

A win on Sunday will also erase the bitter memory of last year’s embarrassing podium absence in what is the home rally for his Volkswagen team.

“We want to continue the success we have enjoyed so far this season,” the Frenchman said on the World Rally Championship’s official website, wrc.com, “and it is also important to make amends for last year’s miserable result by winning this time around.”

VW Motorsport chief Jost Capito said: “Since last year we’ve got a score to settle with the Rally of Germany, as that ‘zero’ result in front of our fans did not leave a very pleasant memory.”

Volkswagen did not let last year’s reverse linger as since then they have rattled off 12 consecutive wins. They start hot favourites to make it 13 in a row this weekend.

If successful they will clinch the constructor’s title with four rallies of the year remaining.

“The entire team is under greater pressure at its home event than at other rallies,” Ogier said, “but that can also be an advantage, as you are generally more focused under these circumstances.”

Ogier’s VW Polo teammate Jari-Matti Latvala has emerged as his closest challenger in the title race, the Finnish driver moving to within 44 points with victory in Finland last time out.

“My goal is to follow on from my success in Finland and challenge for the win again,” Latvala said.

Hyundai’s Dani Sordo is seeking to follow up last year’s win in Germany when he was behind the wheel of a Citroen.

“I’ve been looking forward to driving the Hyundai i20 WRC on proper tarmac since the beginning of the season,” the Spaniard said.

“I won the rally last year and it’s an event at which I feel very confident to drive, although it can be difficult.”

With the UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi not competing in Germany, Kris Meeke and Mads Ostberg will lead Citroen Total Abu Dhabi’s hopes this weekend, while Mohamed Al Mutawaa is to represent the Emirates in the WRC feeder series, the WRC 3.

The 21-year-old Emirati will race this weekend, and in Spain on October 24 to 26, to help him gain experience on different surfaces and in different weather conditions.

Al Mutawaa has been in excellent form in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (Merc), where he has recorded three consecutive victories in the Abu Dhabi Racing – Citroen Middle East Trophy.

The first of 18 official stages starts on Friday, with most of the action taking place against the picturesque backdrop of the Mosel vineyard region.

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