Marmaris, Turkey, Sept 15 (AFP/APP):Frenchman Sebastien Ogier emerged from the dust, rocks and searing heat to win the Rally of Turkey on Sunday to gain ground in the race for the world title.
It was Ogier’s first win since Mexico in March and he comfortably beat Citroen teammate Esapekka Lappi by 34.7sec after the pair found the right formula to save their tyres on the testing terrain.
“It’s great for our team, but it doesn’t mean we have suddenly solved all our problems,” said Ogier after Citroen sealed its first double of the season. “There’s plenty of room for improvement, but we really needed those points.”
After 11 of the 14 races, Estonia’s Ott Tanak leads the points table on 210, with seven-time world champion Ogier 17 points adrift.
Tanak had to pull out Saturday as his Toyota refused to start, but the car and driver were back in contention Sunday, winning the power stage and thereby earning five precious championship points.
In fact Tanak’s comeback Sunday was all about stopping Ogier and he even drove without a spare tyre to lighten the weight of his Toyota on his way to the power stage win.
Belgian Thierry Neuville of Hyundai came eighth on the weekend and has dropped from second to third in the standings.
Next on the agenda will be the narrow muddy lanes of the Rally of Wales with the two other remaining dates in Catalunya and Australia.