Sébastien Ogier in the top five
Rally Australia (3-6 September 2009) – Day 2

Down in Australia, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are making great progress. At the end of the second day, the French crew – who remain unbeaten over the six runs in the Murwillumbah town centre superspecial – kept on the pace of the leaders to finish fifth. Conrad Rautenbach and Daniel Barritt were forced to retire at the end of the morning but will start again tomorrow under the SupeRally system.

The second day of the Rally Australia started this morning on roads that had been made damp by overnight rain. Just as was the case on the opening day, the action took place around the towns of Kyogle and Murwillumbah before ending with two runs around the Tweed superspecial.

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia left parc ferme in second place this morning, on their way to confront some tricky and muddy conditions. A small mistake on the first stage meant that they lost touch with the leader. « I’m a bit disappointed to have made this small mistake » said Ogier. « The 10 seconds we lost put us out of touch with the lead, or at least on terms with Jari-Matti Latvala. But I think that we went well, bearing in mind our road position. Our task is not as easy today, but we expected that !

Having stayed on the offensive to keep up with the leading pack, Sébastien Ogier was able to maintain his place in the top five ahead of the final day. Just an off-road excursion in the afternoon prevented him from staying with the leading trio, who end the second day covered by only 0.1 seconds. « At the end of SS22, there was a downhill braking area for a tightening right-hand corner » recounted Ogier.

I realised that the road was more slippery than I first thought it was, so I thought that it was best to throw the car into the corner. Coming out of it, we touched the car against the bank and damaged the front bumper. We had to manoeuvre the car back to get going again. Then the coolant temperature rose because there was some debris blocking the air intake. We finished the stage slowly.

«We were attacking all the time today and we really enjoyed it. The two extra fastest times we gained on the superspecial were a great reward » added Sébastien. « Tomorrow we will fight with Jari-Matti Latvala for fourth place. It will be an interesting day and we should benefit from a better road position than we have had today.

Conrad Rautenbach had a less successful outing today. After SS18 he was ninth and closing in on the eighth place occupied by Federico Villagra. But the Zimbabwean went off the road in Urliup (SS19) after 2.16 kilometres. His Citroën C4 WRC hit a bank on a right hand corner. With a damaged steering arm and front suspension the car was going nowhere. The crew will start again tomorrow under the SupeRally system.

Classification at end of day two :
1. Sordo/Marti Citroën C4 1h52’28’’1
2. Loeb/Elena Citroën C4 +0’’1
= Hirvonen/Lehtinen Ford Focus + 0’’1
4. Latvala/Antilla Ford Focus +44’’4
5. Ogier/Ingrassia Citroën C4 +46’’2
6. H. Solberg/Menkerud Ford Focus +2’42’’4
7. Wilson/Martin Ford Focus +2’43’’2
8. Villagra/Perez Companc Ford Focus +3’59’’8
9. Paddon/Kennard Mitsubishi Lancer +9’05’’7
10. Prokop/Tomanek Mitsubishi Lancer +9’19’’8

Day 3 - Sunday 6 September: 541.23 km of which 124.48 km are competitive (10 stages, 6 different stages). Service G (05:00/15 min) – SS26: Monroe 1 (7.14 km) – SS27: Castrol Edge West 1 (21.52 km) – SS28: Gondwana 1 (10.88 km) – SS29: Upper Clarence 1 (6.94 km) – SS30: CTEK West 2 (8.59 km) – Regrouping (10:02/15 min) – Service H (10:17/15 min) – SS31: Monroe 2 (7.40 km) – SS32: Castrol Edge West 2 (21.52 km) – SS33: Gondwana 2 (10.88 km) – SS34: Upper Clarence 2 (6.94 km) – SS35: Repco 2 (live TV) (22.41 km) – Service I (16:04/10 min) – Finish at 16:46.

Back To News
Ypres 2008 Finland 2008 Finland 2008 Finland 2008