Ogier leads wet shakedown in Spain

Ogier leads wet shakedown in Spain

Thursday | 20 Oct 2022

Sébastien Ogier set the benchmark time for Thursday morning’s shakedown in RallyRACC – Rally de España, with Toyota Gazoo Racing cars claiming the first two positions.

Rain showers brought tire gambles into play for the 4.21km warm-up on the legendary Coll de La Teixeta and Toyota – which could seal the manufacturers title here in Salou – was the only team to run its cars on Pirelli’s soft compound P Zero rubber for the first time.

Ogier made the most of his tires’ performance in wet weather, outperforming Takamoto Katsuta by just nine-tenths of a second on his third and final run.

A win here in this penultimate round would mark Ogier’s first triumph of the Rally1 era on what is his fifth appearance in a part-time campaign for the Japanese squad.

A late tire change paid off for Loubet

“We have to be committed, have faith in the car and go for it,” Ogier said of his approach to this rally.

“It won’t be easy for us tomorrow – all the new stages have a lot of cuts so it can be tricky when a few cars have passed. We have nothing to lose this weekend so we have to try.”

It looked like it was going to be a Toyota 1-2-3-4 as rival teams struggled with hard compound tires, but the GR Yaris foursome never came to fruition after Pierre-Louis Loubet switched to soft compound rubber late in the session to take the lead. final podium place.

Tänak was one of the many drivers who used hard rubber

Ford Puma star Loubet was just 1.2 seconds slower than Ogier’s benchmark, improving the times of Yaris men Kalle Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans – who finished fifth – by the finest margins.

Gus Greensmith took a similar approach to his M-Sport colleague, sneaking into sixth with a late attack. He was followed by the similar cars of Adrien Fourmaux and Craig Breen.

WRC2 hopeful Alejandro Cachón did well in the challenging conditions to complete the top 10, while Ott Tänak was Hyundai’s best placed i20 N driver in 11th place.

Pos Driver Car Time
1. Sebastien OGIER Toyota GR Yaris 2min 40.1sec
2. Takamoto KATSUTA Toyota GR Yaris +0.9sec
3. Pierre-Louis LOUBET Ford Puma +1.2sec
4. Kalle ROVANPERÄ Toyota GR Yaris +1.4sec
5. Elfyn EVANS Toyota GR Yaris +1.5sec
6. Gus GREENSMITH Ford Puma +2.5sec
7. Adrien FOURMAUX Ford Puma +6.0sec
8. Craig BREEN Ford Puma +10.3sec
9. Pepe LÓPEZ Hyundai i20 N Rally2 +12.1sec
10. Alejandro CACHÓN Citroen C3 Rally2 +12.2sec

• Full coverage of RallyRACC – Rally de España will be available on WRC+ All Live hereincluding each stage broadcast as it occurs, as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis of the service park.