Go flat out with the WRC’s top driver ahead of what could be a record-breaking Rally Germany.
Calculators at the ready… Sebastien Ogier can be crowned World Rally Drivers’ Champion in record time this week in Germany if he wins and rivals A, B and C don’t manage to finish in positions X, Y and Z.
Working out all the conundrums is always a nightmare but, to accompany this sensational video of Ogier putting his VW Polo R through its paces on a typical Rhine Valley road, we’ve tried to simplify what needs to happen for him to put it beyond his opponents’ reach.
So consider these three numbers and the scenarios that follow…
140 – the maximum number of points still achievable arriving in Germany. That’s 25 per rally win plus 3 per Power Stage win on each rally. So 28 per rally and, with five rallies left, that equals 140 (28 x 5).
5 – the number of drivers still able to stop Ogier (discard outgoing champ Sebastien Loeb who is doing only one more event). Step forward therefore: Ogier’s VW team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala and M-Sport’s Thierry Neuville who are currently tying for second place 90 points behind; Citroen pair Mikko Hirvonen and Dani Sordo and M-Sport’s Mads Ostberg who are 108, 113 and 116 behind respectively.
112 – the maximum points possible after Germany. Then after Australia it’s 84; after France 56; after Spain, 28 (on Wales Rally GB).
What if Ogier wins Rally Germany and its Power Stage?
He’ll have 209 points; Ostberg, Sordo and Hirvonen would all automatically be out of the running. Latvala and Neuville must both finish higher than seventh. Or if seventh then they must score at least one point on the Power Stage (ie. be second or third to winner Ogier).
What if Ogier finishes in second but wins the Power Stage?
Then he can’t become champion in Germany even if Latvala and Neuville both fail to score. He’d be 111 points ahead of them with 112 still possible. Hirvonen must win in Germany to keep his hopes alive (third overall and second on the Power Stage would be no good). Sordo and Ostberg must win overall and be second on the Power Stage or it’s curtains for them.
We can, of course, go to the other extreme. Should Ogier fail to score in Germany (unthinkable given his meteoric 2013 form) and, regardless of order, Latvala or Neuville win and finish second and are also first and second on the Power Stage then suddenly the Frenchman’s 90-point lead will be down to 61/62 and 69/70 points.
The title would still be possible in Australia but only if he wins there and Latvala and Neuville both suffer disasters.
Meantime Germany beckons – will we see the Frenchman win the title in VW’s own back yard (not even the relentless Loeb had any of his nine titles sewn up this early) and, vice versa, VW leave it until France (early October) to clinch the Manufacturers’ silverware?