Getty Images

Ogier admits he nearly gave up on Turkey repair

Ogier admits he nearly gave up on Turkey repair
By AutoSport

15/09/2018 at 11:52Updated 15/09/2018 at 12:08

World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier had admitted he came close to giving up on his efforts to keep his M-Sport Ford in Rally Turkey.

Ogier's Fiesta suffered front-right damage in a heavy landing on Saturday's second stage, just after taking the lead when his WRC title rival Thierry Neuville retired.

He and co-driver Julien Ingrassia worked on the car before the morning's final test and made it into SS10 six minutes late, incurring a 60-second penalty that drops Ogier from first to fourth.

Astonishingly, with a wishbone held in place by a cable-tie, Ogier then went 6.4s faster than anybody else through the 12-mile stage.

"It was pure bad luck what happened to me," Ogier told Autosport.

" I was already backing off and not even pushing [after Neuville's exit]. Then I came over a small crest, we jumped and landed on something - I think it was a hole. It was a huge impact on the front-right. This broke the wishbone, but fortunately we only had to drive two kilometres to the finish."

"When we were working on it, it was not easy and I was very close to giving up when we could not fit the new part in."

Eventually Ogier managed to fit the new wishbone, but the closeness of the sumpguard meant it was not possible to get one of the bolts in, forcing him to use a cable-tie to keep it in place.

While working to fix the wishbone, the driveshaft came out of its housing - leaving Ogier fearing he would only have rear-wheel drive.

Sébastien Ogier lors du rallye de Turquie (WRC)

Sébastien Ogier lors du rallye de Turquie (WRC)Getty Images

"I was missing part of the driveshaft, I didn't expect us to have it [four-wheel drive], but we did it," he said.

"It's a shame we were late to the next stage, but it's a relief to be here and to know we did not fight for nothing."

Ogier was advised by his M-Sport team-mates Elfyn Evans and Dan Barritt, and veteran privateer Henning Solberg and co-driver Ilka Minor, who all stopped at the scene but were unable to offer physical help under the regulations.

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson said he was amazed by what Ogier and Ingrassia achieved.

"When the driveshaft came out, getting that back in is a very, very difficult job," said Wilson,

"What they did was amazing, it's just incredible. To do the time he did in the next stage, obviously he had some drive from that wheel, but it wouldn't have been perfect.

"This is why Seb and Julien are world champions."

M-Sport changed the complete front end of the Fiesta WRC in service, minus the engine but including the gearbox as a precaution in case the damaged shaft caused problems in the front differential.

Evans serviced his own crew as his crew was deployed to help the work on Ogier's.

Ogier starts the afternoon in fourth place, 46.1s off leader Andreas Mikkelsen.

0
0