BLOG: Autumnal Glory @WalesRallyGB: Ogier & Volkswagen Motorsport History & Some Rally Ramblings..


BLOG: Autumnal Glory @WalesRallyGB: Ogier & Volkswagen Motorsport History & Some Rally Ramblings..

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The brand new half term slot for the brand new-sponsor Dayinsure Wales Rally GB as the penultimate, not final round of the WRC calendar (with Rally Australia still to go) saw the stunning, legendary Welsh forest stages looking prettier than ever, bursting with Autumn colour. as well as also we still had all the fabulous Wales Rally GB hallmarks – stunning scenery, monster special stages, dense fog, slippery, tricky conditions, big offs (a flying Craig Breen, sadly), Great scraps, huge crowds as well as also rain (although less of This kind of than usual, thankfully!). The brand new-look rally was praised by drivers as well as also spectators as huge success, rightly so. 
This kind of was majestic. 

Especially if you name was Sébastien Ogier – already today a four-times WRC champion as well as also also today entering the record books as a four-times winner of This kind of epic event, going down in rally history along with superstars Hannu Mikkola as well as also Petter Solberg in an elite club of four-time winners on British soil. Respect! 
as well as also Ogier’s record win (he’s led This kind of event for the past four year’s today, never dropping P1!) brought a richly deserved fourth consecutive Manufacturers’ crown for Volkswagen Motorsport – aided by a fantastically committed power stage P2 points flourish by Andreas Mikkelsen, which was one of the highlights of the event, as he hurled his Polo R WRC up as well as also over the limit through the final short stage… awesome driving! 
Sadly, his rally as well as also Jari-Matti Latvala’s did not go to plan, which has a mixture of technical as well as also driver issues – leaving Ogier to fight for both titles simultaneously alone for Volkswagen Motorsport glory. as well as also his wins are nothing short of miraculous – especially when you consider This kind of will be his first gravel event win of the year. Carlos Sainz used to contain the title ‘Mr Consistency’ – always scoring podium points – yet surely Ogier has stolen his crown? Almost anyway El Matador…
“To draw equal on wins here with Petter as well as also Hannu will be incredible – they’re two of the giants of our sport,” Ogier said. “This kind of’s always a huge challenge to win in Wales. This kind of’s funny – a few years ago, This kind of was one of my least favourite rallies on the calendar as I genuinely found This kind of difficult to master as well as also today This kind of’s one I always genuinely enjoy. The stages are beautiful as well as also you’re always on the limit as well as also close to the edge.

“For me, one of the highlights of the weekend was meeting so many spectators in Chester as well as also Cholmondeley – This kind of was a great idea to include a donut within the middle of the stage there, because people love to see these cars sliding around. I think we’ve made a lot of fans happy This kind of weekend, which will be genuinely rewarding; I’m already looking forward to returning next year!”

Perhaps the drive of the event went to Ott Tänak of M-Sport – still to secure his seat for 2017, unbelievably – who was the only one which has a shout of spoiling the Ogier/VW party, finishing just 10-seconds behind the champ in what will be generally accepted to be a ‘less able car.’ He also managed to beat Mikkelsen’s power stage time. How he did in which will be beyond me! Fair play Ott! You deserve a seat for 2017 as well as also are sure to be a championship winner one day, in our view. 
“I genuinely enjoyed This kind of rally,” reflected the DMACK World Rally Team driver. “This kind of’s always one of the toughest events of the year as well as also GB will be a true classic on the WRC calendar which has a lot of history behind This kind of. These stages are some of the best within the planet as well as also in what were pretty challenging conditions at times, This kind of was an exciting fight with Seb all the way through.”
as well as also underscoring Dayinsure Wales Rally GB’s international appeal, the final top eight finishers comprised eight different nationalities. Belgian ace Thierry Neuville prevailed in a Hyundai scrap for the final spot on the podium with brand new Zealand’s Hayden Paddon to secure the Korean some sort of’s maiden rostrum finish within the UK, while Britain’s Kris Meeke placed fifth on the competitive swansong for Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s Citroën DS3 WRC, as well as also was clearly disappointed.
As he came over the line on the power stage, co-driver Paul Nagle optimistically asked “do you think we were quickest?” to which bleak Meeke replied a solitary “NO!” as well as also he spent most of the final day just sounding characteristically angry as well as also “looking forward to 2017.” 
Maybe all the testing Meeke’s been doing developing the brand new big bhp, big aero 2017 Citroen to rival Volkswagen, Ford as well as also the brand new Toyota WRC car will pay off in 12 months as well as also he’ll get his Welsh win? Nicky Grist certainly seems to think so as well as also he knows his onions. Only time will tell. Meantime, we’re sorry to say, he’s not genuinely representing himself very positively within the sport, which will be a shame in my opinion as well as also something his mentor certainly avoided. Sure This kind of must be enormously disappointing to not do so well on an event you want to win in front of home crowds, yet, as Didier Auriol famously said which has a Gallic shrug “iz rallying, non?” Then you see the brand new-breed smiling as well as also talented faces of Østberg, Mikkelsen, Neuville, Tänak as well as also Paddon enjoying their fabulous sport as well as also Meeke looking miserable as well as also moaning on Twitter, doing what will be surely the best job within the planet… This kind of does him no favours, in our view.
We’ll shut up today.    
 
Putting a more reflectively positive spin on things,  event Managing Director Ben Taylor said: “What a wonderful weekend This kind of has been. The move to a half-term date made for better weather for spectators as well as also a brand new challenge for competitors; This kind of was fantastic to see so many families within the Deeside Rally Village, at Cholmondeley, in Chester as well as also out on the stages.
“In fact, This kind of was great to see so many fans of all ages enjoying the action as well as also I would likely like to congratulate Sébastien, Julien as well as also Volkswagen Motorsport on their success. We must also thank everybody involved in doing This kind of rally such a great success, especially the 2,000 volunteer marshals without whom none of This kind of would likely be possible.”

We’d like to say bravo to the whole Wales Rally GB team. The brand new-look event will be better than ever as well as also we can’t wait to be a part of This kind of again next year! 

Wales Rally GB 2017 Final Classification 1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (FRA/FRA) VW Polo R WRC 3h 14m30.2s
2. Ott Tänak / Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST) Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10.2s
3. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC +1m35.4s
4. Hayden Paddon / John Kennard (NZL/NZL) Hyundai i20 WRC +1m54.9s
5. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (GBR/IRL) Citroën DS3 WRC +2m35.2s
6. Dani Sordo / Marc Martí (ESP/ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC +4m02.6s
7. Mads Østberg / Ola Fløene (NOR/NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m28.3s
8. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) VW Polo R WRC +4m38.3s
9. Stéphane Lefebvre / G. De Turckheim (FRA/FRA) Citroën DS3 WRC +7m12.2s
10. Eric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas (FRA/FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC +8m19.3s


BLOG: Autumnal Glory @WalesRallyGB: Ogier & Volkswagen Motorsport History & Some Rally Ramblings..

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