CHAMPION: WRC Rally world champion Sebastien Ogier admires his new-look bonnet last Sunday in the Coffs Harbour after retaining his WRC title.
CHAMPION: WRC Rally world champion Sebastien Ogier admires his new-look bonnet last Sunday in the Coffs Harbour after retaining his WRC title. Trevor Veale

WRC champ Ogier lauds Team Volkswagen's dominance

THREE-TIME FIA World Rally Champion driver Sebastien Ogier, who last weekend retained his WRC crown at Rally Australia, says a great car, and a dedicated team of drivers and mechanics have created team Volkswagen's formula to rally success.

The manufacturer's Team Volkswagen, including Ogier, Finn Jari-Matti Latvala and Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen, has proven unbeatable in the WRC in the past three seasons, consistently outpacing the rival Ford Fiesta RS WRCs and the Citroen DS-3 WRCs and, more recently, the Hyundai i20s.

Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast was no different, with Ogier and Latvala topping the podium ahead of Citroen North Irishman Kris Meeke.

Never growing tired of the taste of French champagne, Ogier explained the Volkswagen advantage.

"The balance of the car suits me really perfectly, the team has a strong connection and a really good way of working together, it's the whole package," he said.

FAST FRENCHIE: Ogier during Rally Australia, an event he would win to claim his third WRC title behind the wheel of a VW Polo.
FAST FRENCHIE: Ogier during Rally Australia, an event he would win to claim his third WRC title behind the wheel of a VW Polo.

"I think it's for sure the best rally car I've ever driven, I feel really comfortable in this car and in this team."

Volkswagen's golden boy has come a long way since his first rally in Mexico in 2008.

Securing his third consecutive world rally championship alongside co-driver Julien Ingrassia, he is fast closing in on the great rally record of countryman and former team-mate Sebastien Loeb.

The 31-year-old Frenchman said off the rally routes and outside his Volkswagen Polo R, he opted for a Volkswagen Tiguan for its speed and functionality.

"I think it's one of the most convenient cars I could have because it's big, I can put so much stuff in the back like my bike," he said.

"It's still powerful with a good TDI engine with a lot of torque so it can still go really fast on a German autobahn, it's a good car."

Even for one of the best drivers in modern rally history, there are critics it seems.

Ogier said his worst habit on the road was as a backseat driver, with his partner Andrea Kaiser jokingly labelling him "the worst driver on the planet".

"My wife used to say I was the worst driver on this planet because I always complain when she's driving, I'll always try to correct her when she's doing anything wrong," he said.

Sebastien Ogier following his win at the Rally Australia service park in Coffs Harbour. Photo David Barwell / Coffs Coast Advocate
Sebastien Ogier following his win at the Rally Australia service park in Coffs Harbour. Photo David Barwell / Coffs Coast Advocate David Barwell


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