Road position blues or how to make Ogier happy

Sébastien Ogier (F), Julien Ingrassia (F) Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2015) WRC Rally Portugal 2015
  • Hauptbahnhof

    I fail to see the problem with this year’s system to be honest.
    Yes, Ogier had to do the road sweeping on the first leg, but there hasn’t been a single event this year, where he started first on leg 2, because of the guys who always have to restart under Rally2. This way they get to start first, and this usually means two or three cars do the sweeping before Ogier, but of course he likes to just ignore this fact. In 2011, when every leg was about who can slow down the most at the end of the last stage, the guys said going first on the road makes it impossible to win, but going second should be alright, let alone going third or fourth. Of course those who would need to climb up the leaderboard, like Evans this weekend, have close to zero chance to succeed, but that’s not what bothers Ogier it seems.

    • h_r_m

      Exactly this. And let’s not forget about events where opening the road would be an advantage. Like asphalt rallies ususaly or gravel in wet conditions or Sweden with wet snow. Maybe even Spain with having no dust like the rest of the drivers.
      Of course it’s not a perfect system, but is it hard to imagine two or 3 drivers fighting for title changing the top spot of leaderboard after every rally. Will that be unfair?

      • wrblog

        Great points! There are events where being early on the road is advantageous, in fact, plenty of such events. And in those events we usually do not hear Ogier complain, or if he does, he just mentions it along the way but doesn’t make such a fuss.

        Come to think of it, he should probably be talking more about how he was able to overcome all these disadvantages and still come 2nd and win the powerstage. That would ring much louder and in right tones, unlike whining.

        • Hauptbahnhof

          You guys are absolutely right, and I have to say this is getting pathetic. I can’t say that I’ve ever liked Ogier, but I did respect him when he was driving the S2000 Fabia in the WRC. However, how he is behaving now is nowhere near what a sportsman, and a two-times World Champion should be like. It’s strange how basically all the frontrunners can admit if someone did a better job than them, except for Ogier.
          Also, not that long ago, I’ve been watching the 1996 season’s highlights, and probably the most memorable moment was when Kankkunen and Mäkinen were fighting for the victory in Finland. At the end of the penultimate leg Kankkunen was leading ahead of Mäkinen, so he had to be first on the road on the last few stages. Unbelievably, he didn’t start to preach about him being the best driver in the championship, and how the rules were unfair only to him, he rather said he knew this would happen, he tried to build a gap big enough for the next day, and he would continue to push as hard as he could. He probably did, but it wasn’t enough, Mäkinen won the rally, and that was it, no whining, no stupid comments.
          This is getting a bit long now, but just another thought I’d like to share with you, I don’t really get it how he has a disadvantage because of the starting order, when he still keeps increasing his advantage in the championship after every round.

          • wrblog

            Excellent analogy with Tommi and Juha. I have huge respect for Ogier, or rather for his driving skills, because as a person we know very little about most of them, sadly. But I agree he is getting pissed over probably wrong stuff – he came second, destroyed all of them but one once again, he should just enjoy that fact because his lead in the championship is so huge it’s ridiculous. I hope someone comes up and starts challenging him soon, because let’s admit it, seeing two or more such drivers battle would be fantastic. Meeke, Latvala, Mikkelsen, Neuville, they all have potential, now to put it to good use!

    • Luis Cardoso

      I dont agree with that! In 2011 was Ogier and Loeb, two fast drivers
      fighting
      for one similar line! What we see in rallye2 rules(im Portuguese and i saw the rallye in his 4 days) with Bertelli or Qassimi open in front of Ogier, dont help that
      much, because you can not compare to having an Loeb/Ogier open the road
      to each other with Bertelli or Qassimi. Any of these two take one minute from Ogier in
      30 km, 2s for km. I was in Portugal, and was visible that the lines are not much the
      same. Ogier cut too much the corners then Bertelli or Quassimi and he brakes too much
      late, where are not lines at all. Well, WRC is a sport right? i think
      that put the champ with one handicap like this dont give any prestige to sport in general.
      Furthermore Evans has retired in the first stage on the second day.. And the history reported below
      in relation to KKK and Makkinen in Finland 96.. has KKK open the road in
      the first two legs?! Nope.. we have to realize that this rule is to
      much. Why the FIA dont have implemented these start order in the Loeb era?! Oh..
      Citroen is a French team. Thats why we see the same in WTCC and they do nothing about that! Sorry my bad English.. PS: In Finland, Ogier/Ingrassia have to open for two days and a half!!! is this ” the essence” that defines sport?

      • wrblog

        Luis, thanks for your comment. I agree about Finland, it really is pushing it too much, and relying, or should I say using rally2 crews as an excuse, isn’t helping. Ogier probably should not have focused so much energy criticizing this rule in Portugal, because he almost won, but in my opinion this rule was introduced in order to somehow slow him down. Not anyone, but him, because he is, as the points tell us, that much better than the others. I am waiting to be proven wrong on this, I really really hope someone will be able to challenge him regularly. With or without slow-down rules.

  • h_r_m

    Well, I don’t understand… Since the 2 day sweepenig rule was introduced there was never exactly 2 day sweeping. There are always Rally2 drivers and they are starting before championship leader on the second day and Ogier didn’t open the road for 2 days, even in Portugal. Let’s keep the facts straight. And don’t tell me rally2 drivers make bad lines, of course they might not be perfcet but come on. This is just classic moaning from Ogier it’s all it is.

  • Anders Nilsson

    Worth consider is that if Latvala becomes championship leader he will be the one with the disadvantage to be a road sweeper. I also think Ogier be calm, Latvala have had 3 rounds of zero points while Ogier have only had one so far and Latvala is not as consistent as Ogier I will be very surprised if Ogier do not win the championship this year.

    • wrblog

      Ogier can only beat himself out of a title this year I think. Latvala is too far down, but maybe Kris and Andreas can push Ogier on a more regular basis.

  • Alex Langheck

    Why does Motorsport like to falsely create excitement? Success ballast, road orders, etc Why can’t the best dominate, like in other sports? It’s up to the others to catch up, not be given ‘hand outs’.
    I thought qualifying was a good idea, and seemed to work. But, it didn’t handicap Ogier enough.
    Make the WRC leader run first for the 1st day only, then the top 15 reversed for the following days.
    Simple.

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