Ogier: Pirelli asphalt WRC tyres will be leveller in Croatia

Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier believes Pirelli’s new dry asphalt rubber will prove a leveller at Rally Croatia.

The long-range forecast for this weekend’s tarmac battle gives for largely dry and sunny conditions.

During his pre-event test, Ogier got to sample the Italian company’s hard compound P-Zero offering.

It will make its first appearance at the event which starts on Friday – alongside the Cinturato rain tyre.

“We have new tyres this season and we have not had the chance so far to drive the slick tyres on dry tarmac,” said Ogier, who will start the rally third on the road.

“The test was important as the experience helped me to learn. I’m pretty happy with the car – I enjoy it – so now it is all about collecting the data and making the best choices in Croatia.

“It is hard to say who is the favourite to win in Croatia. If I am part of them that’s good – but I’ve just mentioned the tyres; they are really playing a big role at the moment because it is all about who can adapt to them as fast as possible, so it is difficult to estimate who is going to be the best in this rally.

“I would say that does make things interesting I’m looking forward to that challenge but it’s hard to say who’s going to be the fast drivers. Let’s see.”

Having the most experience – and success – on asphalt of any other current WRC driver, many see the Frenchman as the man to beat on the newest addition to the series.

However, the reigning WRC champion insists leaving round three as the leader is not the priority given that Rally de Portugal follows immediately after Croatia.

“Of course, I would like to win this rally but we are at the beginning of the season and there is still a very long way to go,” he told Motorsport.com.

“Every point is important for the championship but I’m also aware of the many gravel events coming after Croatia where it’s going to be challenging sat at the front.

“I’ll do my best to be consistent as that’s key to winning, but I’m pretty relaxed going to Croatia.

“Arctic Rally Finland was, of course, disappointing. Only one point but that’s the way it is. Going there as the leader of the championship was unfortunately a very big challenge on top of the mistake from my side [crashing on the final corner of Saturday’s last stage and dropping 20 minutes].

“It cost me some points but not that many. At the end I’m just looking forward and focusing on Croatia.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

"No certainty" WRC Rally Finland will be open to fans
Previous article

"No certainty" WRC Rally Finland will be open to fans

Next article

Hyundai needs “vital” consistency in WRC title fight

Hyundai needs “vital” consistency in WRC title fight
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021