PHOTO: Sebastien Ogier is hoping to go one better with his podium celebrations at Rally Australia this year (Neil Blackbourn pic)
SEBASTIEN Ogier says “really loves” Coates Hire Rally Australia and can’t wait to return and hopefully secure his third straight FIA World Rally Championship.
Even without the prospect of title glory, the Frenchman is looking forward to the roads and atmosphere of the Coffs Coast event on 10-13 September, he told Autosport.com’s David Evans.
Ogier will complete the hat-trick if he finishes ahead of Volkswagen teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen in Australia, or takes second behind Latvala.
He won his first crown on his home round in France – after falling short by one point in Australia – and last year’s in Spain and admits he’ll be happy if he can sew-up a third even earlier Down Under.
“Yes. [The title] has become more and more realistic now,” he told Autosport.com.
“I didn’t calculate exactly, but now I have a real chance to get it.
“I have the cards in my hand to secure it in Australia and why not?
“It is a rally I really love.
“I love the atmosphere there, it is something very different.
“We are feeling more intimate, all together, because there are less people coming.
“I like the special atmosphere and the roads are also very nice.”
Co-driver Julien Ingrassia will also win his championship, while Volkswagen is all-but certain to take a third Manufacturers crown, needing only to return to Europe with at least 129 of its 139-point lead over Hyundai intact.