06 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Third consecutive set of WRC points for Ogier and Ingrassia at Rally Argentina

2012 Rally Argentina: Ogier/Ingrassia

Once again, Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have scored points on an international rally, taking their third consecutive set at Rally Argentina on 27-29 April. Finishing seventh overall, the French pair took the S2000 class victory over their Norwegian team mates, Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene, who had to retire within sight of the finish line due to suspension damage. The 19 stages around Villa Carlos Paz near Cordoba included gravel tracks, dangerous cliffs, a number of jumps and spectacular water splashes. Stages of up to 65kms in length required hard concentration from all the participating teams as well as careful tyre choices. Volkswagen Motorsport’s all-Škoda Fabia S2000 in-house competition entertained the crowds – at one point, Ogier and Mikkelsen were just 1.5 seconds apart.

‘It was a very interesting and exciting rally for us. The inter-team duel with Andreas was the hardest up to now and we had to try everything to be quicker. It’s a shame that both the cars didn’t make the finish,’ said Ogier, who now holds 10th position in the WRC with 16 points. ‘The team richly deserves the World Championship points, since the engineers and mechanics did a flawless job throughout the four days. The tyre strategy was also crucial for our good result. We managed our tyres very well, so we were quick. Participating in the rally was very valuable for the drivers and the whole team because we have now familiarised ourselves with the long stages, know much more about the entire rally, and can now prepare meticulously for next year’s event.’

Mikkelsen was also extremely satisfied despite his retirement. ‘We put in a great performance on our first appearance here. We could run the same pace as our team mates and didn’t make any big mistakes. Even though we didn’t make it to the finish we can be very proud of our performance,’ said Mikkelsen for whom the suspension defect came as a surprise. ‘To start it felt like a flat tyre because the car didn’t turn left well. Then the suspension broke suddenly,’ said the 22-year old Škoda UK driver.

‘Our good experiences continue in Argentina: not just three victories in the Dakar Rally, but this test event in the WRC will also remain in our memories for a long time,’ explained Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. ‘It was the longest WRC rally held for years and because of its character, one of the hardest. The thrilling head-to-head duel between Ogier and Mikkelsen impressed the spectators and provided us with a great deal of data and knowledge. The team did a perfect job to match in preparing and entering the cars and also the overseas logistics. We were well-equipped and are looking forward to 2013 when we will roll across the start ramp in Argentina with the Polo R WRC.’

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