Sebastien Ogier claims that the driveshaft failures that cost his teammates Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala on the opening day of the Wales Rally haunted his own Polo R and may have denied him victory.
Volkswagen claimed their 4th Constructors title as Ogier won a tight battle against Ott Tanak which resulted in the Frenchman winning by a narrow 10.2s margin.
After picking up his fourth consecutive victory in what has been a fantastic season, Ogier said,
“This victory is fantastic. I am so delighted that we have wrapped up the Manufacturers’ title for our fantastic team.It was hard work hanging onto our lead in these extremely slippery conditions here in Wales. Ott Tänak put us under a lot of pressure, so Julien and I had to push ourselves to the limit all weekend. But we did it.
Looking back, we have all been on an incredible journey over the past four years. To have such a run of success is definitely something very special – particularly in motorsport, where so many different factors come into play. I am very happy that I opted for Volkswagen before anyone knew where this WRC adventure would take us.”
– Sebastien Ogier
His teammates Mikkelsen and Latvala suffered driveshaft failures that reduced their cars to two-wheel-drives and Ogier claims that his transmission was making odd noises and haunted him on the opening day. Ogier managed to command a 37.7s lead despite the sick-sounding transmission and believes he was more than lucky to get to the service on Friday night.
“As the transmission was still running normally for me during the stage it was just a noise. But the noise was a sign of something pretty bad coming and it was very close to happening when we entered the service.
One more stage and most probably we would have suffered a transmission failure and lost a lot of time. After Friday I was happy it wouldn’t happen again, but certainly on the first day, I had a lot of stress.”
– Sebastien Ogier
— Sébastien Ogier (@SebOgier) October 30, 2016
Despite the victory, the Volkswagen team will want to analyse and recover the issue before the Australian Rally because Mikkelsen and Latvala were massively jeopardized. Three healthy Polo R’s are much better than just one!