Sebastien Ogier’s ploy at the final stage of Swedish Rally to find better conditions for his bid to win supplemental champion points led to complications for the M-Sport team - all brought about by his lowly position after starting the rally first on the road on day one.
There were two objectives for Ogier: first to do as well as possible on the Power Stage, which in the snowy conditions meant delaying tackling the stage for as long as possible.
The end result was that Ogier gained four points for being second fastest on the stage.
But then came objective number two, which was to keep his tenth overall ahead of Evans, notwithstanding time control penalties accrued for the delay, and so bring one additional championship point.
After the penultimate stage, Ogier was lying tenth overall and lay 4m16.7 seconds in front of 12th finisher Katsuta.
Elfyn Evans dropped to 14th in Sweden after team-mate Sebastien Ogier took time penalties before the final Power Stage. Photo: Holmes
A most involved plan was hatched regarding how long Ogier should wait before entering the Power Stage, therefore how many time control penalties he should safely acquire.
When the organisers saw the prizegiving ceremony schedule was about to be affected, Ogier was ordered to stop delaying checking into the final stage arrival control.
There was then a further complication. The final control of the rally was just after the Power Stage.
The team needed to calculate how long Evans could wait before checking in before the plan for Ogier to finish in front of Evans would fail.
Ogier was 25 minutes late (4m10s penalty), Evans had to wait 26 minutes (4m20s penalty). Ogier finished tenth and got his five extra points, while Evans was pushed down to 14th, behind Katsuta, Tidemand and Veiby.
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