11 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Ogier forges ahead through the forests for Finnish class victory

2012 Neste Oil Rally Finland: Ogier/Ingrassia

It was business as usual for the Volkswagen Motorsport team, as Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia recorded a seventh consecutive S2000 class victory at the Neste Oil Rally Finland. Coming in 10th overall, the pair finished just behind winner fellow Frenchman Sébastien Loeb. ‘I’m satisfied with tenth place. On the fast gravel tracks like the legendary Ouninpohja stage, we extracted absolute everything that was possible from our Škoda Fabia, when compared to the significantly more powerful WRC cars. Obviously next year we aim to be higher up the field with the 300bhp, four-wheel drive Polo R WRC,’ Ogier enthused.

Nearly 300,000 spectators saw the French pair cross the line, after 18 special stages, stretching over 304 kilometres – some with 50-metre jumps – and speeds of up to 125mph. Meanwhile in the number two car, Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene from Norway finished 10th in the S2000 class, after battling with an electrical problem on the tenth special stage, losing almost nine minutes. A later puncture saw them further down the field, although Mikkelsen’s battling spirit saw the duo finish in 27th place. Ogier and Ingrassia didn’t escape mechanical maladies, either – suffering from a broken damper on the same stage.

‘With its hard and fast gravel tracks this Rally Finland certainly numbers to the most challenging and spectacular rallies this year,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. ‘The entire team deserves great praise for doing a great job and for quickly solving the small problems that appeared. The driver teams were in good form despite the difficult and tough conditions and collected valuable experience for our WRC programme next year.’ The next round of the WRC is the ADAC Rallye Deutschland in Germany, on 26-28 August.

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