The FIA World Rally Championship returns this weekend for the Neste Rally Finland. Citroen Racing’s Sebastien Ogier goes into the weekend’s event just four points behind Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Ott Tanak in the race for the World Rally Drivers Championship.
In eleven appears at Rally Finland, Ogier has one victory here which came in 2013 and speaking ahead of the event this weekend he said:
This rally, contested pretty much in the back yard of one of our main competitors, is set to be a serious challenge. But I was able to recharge my batteries during the summer break and I feel fresh. As usual, I’m ready to put up a fight. With the high speeds on the stages, this is definitely a rally where you need to be completely at one with your car in order to really go for it and I have to say that I finished my two days of testing with a good feeling in the C3 WRC. The upgrade introduced at this round means we’ll have better options in terms of set-up for the rest of the season.
Esapekka Lappi heads into his home event in sixth place in World Rally Championship standings in 9th place on 40 points and is looking for a strong result following a top ten finish in Italy prior to the Summer break. Lappi has won victory at home which came in 2017.
Speaking ahead of the event this weekend he said:
After getting our bearings at high speed in Estonia, we were able to fine-tune the basic set-up during the test day held afterwards in Finland. We had increased grip and the handling of the C3 WRC was further improved. This event is obviously something special for all of us. The main thing is to enjoy it, and if I can do that, then the result will come naturally. In any case, I feel confident and I’m determined to do my best.
Citroen Racing Team Principal Pierre Budar commented saying:
With its high speeds and the invariably very small gaps between crews, this round is like no other. You really need to come to the start line full of confidence and ready to go for it straight away. There’s no time to get your eye in… We have prepared as best we could by competing at Rally Estonia, and we were able to fine-tune the set-up of C3 WRC during the three-day pre-event test in Finland on roads similar to those we’ll face during the race. We’ll be introducing an upgrade to our front axle at this event, to enable our drivers to have a wider range of set-up options. In any case, with two former winners in our ranks, we are well equipped to challenge and our target will be to keep up our run of podiums
Citroen Racing head to Finland in third place in the World Rally Championship manufacturers standings on 170 points.