#GOgier for the title: Ogier/Ingrassia take the lead at the Rally Spain.

Sébastien Ogier (F) WRC Rally Catalunya 2016 Photo: Daniel Roeseler

Ogier/Ingrassia on the cusp of their fourth successive World Rally Championship title
Exciting battle for the win – 5.8-second lead over local hero Dani Sordo
Set-back for Mikkelsen/Jæger, Latvala/Anttila return


Wolfsburg (15 October 2016). The route to the world championship title leads via a real showdown: Volkswagen duo Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) have moved into a slender lead at the Rally Spain, putting them well on course to win the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) for the fourth time in a row. Their lead over Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E, Hyundai) is 5.8 seconds – the equivalent of 160.86 metres. After 258.28 of the total 321.08 km against the clock, they now need just one single point on Sunday to win the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship again, regardless of other results.

Their Volkswagen team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N), who came into the rally as their closest rivals in the title race, have been forced to abandon any hope of winning the championship after an accident. They strayed from the racing line in a right-hand turn on stage 12 of the Rally Spain, hit the barriers at the side of the road, and rolled. Thanks to the tried-and-tested safety concept of the Polo R WRC, Mikkelsen/Jæger emerged unhurt. However, their rally is over: the car cannot be repaired with materials available on site.

Returning to action under Rally 2 regulations, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) won two of the day’s eight stages in the third Volkswagen Polo R WRC, with a further five stage wins going to Ogier/Ingrassia (F/F). The Finnish pair is currently eighth in the Manufacturers’ classification and could score valuable points in the race for the WRC Manufacturers’ title on Sunday.

Quotes after day two of the Rally Spain

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“A perfect day! I am very happy with our performance. I knew we could only make up the 17-second deficit to Dani Sordo with an absolutely flawless display. He is very quick on asphalt, and this is his home rally. We consciously took a slightly more cautious approach on this morning’s first stage, because it was still damp and slippery in places. From then on, however, Julien and I went on the attack. We obviously now have a huge chance of securing our fourth title here in Spain. That is at the back of our minds, but the points for the team in the Manufacturer’s Championship are also important. No doubt about it, we want to win tomorrow. However, I still remember well the outcome of last year’s Power Stage. We don’t plan to let that happen again this time.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“I gained some confidence today. I have to admit that things have not gone entirely to plan for us recently. Returning under Rally 2 regulations today, we produce some fast times and the feeling for the car, line and driving style was back. I lost a little time with a puncture in the afternoon, which meant I had to be careful on the following stages. All in all, I’m happy with the day, although this is definitely not the role I had hoped to play at the Rally Spain. Tomorrow is all about scoring points for the Manufacturers’ Championship. We will give it our best shot.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“We made a good start on stage 12, and decided to attack in a section with many similar, very quick right-hand corners. I was a little too cautious there in the morning. I simply approached the right-hand corner in question too fast in second gear. We drifted wide, hit the barriers and rolled. Anders and I are well, but obviously extremely disappointed. The battle for second place in the world championship is now wide open again, and we will have to be at our very best in the remaining rallies to achieve the goal we have been aiming for since the start of the season. We will work hard to make that possible.”

Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“An exciting and eventful day at the Rally Spain, which entertained the many fans along the route and at home with a thrilling battle between Sébastien Ogier and Dani Sordo. This duel is evenly matched and will be a big story again on Sunday. Sébastien produced a controlled but quick drive today to overturn the deficit and open a small lead. He and Julien will give it their all to claim a fourth title tomorrow. That is not only important for them, as Volkswagen also needs valuable points in the race for the Manufacturers’ title. Jari-Matti Latvala can also contribute tomorrow, after a good comeback and two stage wins today. Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger suffered a setback in their battle for second place in the world championship. The most important thing is that they are both well after their crash.”

And then there was …

… Ralf Brandstätter. The Member of the Volkswagen Board for “Procurement” was at the Rally Spain on Saturday. Visiting a World Rally Championship event for the first time, he took in two special stages and paid a brief visit to the service park. During the midday service, Brandstätter met Motorsport Director Sven Smeets, Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen.

Provisional result after day two of the Rally Spain

01. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen, 2h 35m 12.8s
02. Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai, + 5.8s
03. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai, + 1m 03.9s
04. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai, + 1m 20.0s
05. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën, + 1m 57.9s
06. Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (N/N), Ford, + 2m 35.7s
07. Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford, + 4m 24.7s
08. Kevin Abbring/Sebastian Marshall (NL/GB), Hyundai, + 6m 22.7s
09. Martin Prokop/Jan Tománek (CZ/CZ), Ford, + 7m 13.3s
10. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), Škoda, + 7m 41.6s

19. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen, + 21m 31.3s












André Dietzel
Media Volkswagen Motorsport
Admin and Translation:
Media & Comunication Top Run Motorsport

Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Photos: Hélena El Mokni / Daniel Roeseler / Kräling / Giorgi / Red Bull by Volkswagen Motorsport



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