Sunday, October 20, 2013
Ogier is 2013 World Rally Champions Thanks to Michelin Total Performance Package
While speed, consistency and reliability are the ingredients that have helped the Volkswagen Motorsport duo on the way to their first world crown, the performance, strength and longevity of the tires provided to them by the French tire manufacturer proved valuable allies in their bid to claim the ultimate prize.
The 2013 season has been an extraordinary human and technological adventure which culminated in this weekend’s Rallye de France-Alsace which was won by the new world champions. From start to finish, they survived a treacherous cocktail of heavy rain and slippery stages, assisted by their soft-compound Michelin Pilot Sport S2 tyres which proved a match for the horrendous conditions and a level of grip frequently close to that of ice. They also enabled the drivers to showcase their car control even though the WRC regulations only permit 23 percent of the tyres’ tread to be grooved
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) took full advantage of the potential of their Michelin tires and, after figuring in fourth place for much of the rally, the French duo finally took the top prize at the finish on Sunday afternoon. With the nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb (Citroën DS3 WRC) out of the running following an ‘off’ on SS15 (‘Vignoble de Cleebourg 1’), the Volkswagen driver had a free reign for the last 42 kilometers of competitive action.
The 2013 Rallye de France-Alsace saw second place go to Dani Sordo and Carlos Del Barrio (Citroën DS3 WRC). The Spaniards were not eligible to score Manufacturers’ championship points for Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT, but they kept up the pressure all the way to the finish, a little more than a month after the Spaniard’s first world class victory on the 2013 ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The French round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship was also an important fixture for Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) who were third in Alsace. Indeed, the Finns’ mission was to strengthen Volkswagen Motorsport’s advantage in the Manufacturers’ standings and their result helped the German make to extend its lead over its French rival.
Thanks to the victory of Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, Michelin has added to the eloquent record it has built up in world class rallying since 1973. The French company’s score now stands at 261WRC rally wins and 21 Drivers’ titles, while this is the first Drivers’ world crown for Volkswagen, coinciding with the first year of its collaboration with Michelin at the sport’s highest level.