M-Sport plans full throttle attack on Coffs
HAVING secured both the manufacturers and drivers titles in the previous rally, the M-Sport team could be forgiven for a slight drop in intensity this week for the Kennards Hire Rally Australia. But there won't be.
Five-time world champion Sébastien Ogier and team mates Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans have said they're after a big finish to the World Rally Championhsip year.
Ogier admitted securing the world championhsip in Wales lifted some of the pressure he's under every time he gets behind the wheel.
"It means that we can go to Rally Australia fully focused on enjoying the great stages that they have there," Ogier said.
"I say some of the pressure as we still want to secure a good result.
"So far, the team has had a podium on every event and we want to see that continue."
Tänak said for him this week is about ticking off an individual goal he has in mind.
"We've still got a chance of finishing second in the championship and we'll be giving our all to end our time with the team on a high," Tänak said.
The Estonian who's recorded wins this year in Italy and Germany said driving on the Coffs Coast is a unique challenge.
"It won't be easy, Rally Australia never is. And it's completely different to anything else we experience," he said.
"Everything is different, even the shadows in the forest, and we'll have to be at the very top of our game if we want to deliver a strong result."
Evans, who broke through for his maiden win in Wales, said even though driving here hasn't been kind to him in the past, he's always enjoyed competing on the Coffs Coast.
"It's not the easiest of events and visibility can often be a big challenge," he said.
"We can get some hanging dust and when the sun is low it can create a strobe effect through the trees which makes it difficult to read the road. It's certainly an event where you need complete confidence in your notes."
Ogier has won three of the five WRC rallies held on the Coffs Coast said he appreciates how much support he receives from the local fans.
"It's quite an intimate event, but the locals really get behind the rally and we always receive a very warm welcome," the world champion said.