Rally Australia – the key moment
- 20th November 2016, 9:35pm
It is hard to think of any comparable moment to what happened on stage 20 of Rally Australia, three stages from the end, on the only long stage of the final day.
The great Sebastien Ogier was beaten at his own game! The supreme master of pressure succumbed to the pressure of trying to beat not some rival from another team, but fellow Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen.
It was Ogier’s chance to prove he was the world’s greatest rally winner by the way he was about to win a rally in which he had suffered the severe handicap of running first car on the road in extreme circumstances.
It was also the last chance to show VW that he was their hero.
Ogier had the chance of what was possibly the greatest victory of his career in his sights, taking advantage of the gift of Mikkelsen’s clutch pedal problem when he spun and lost about 10 seconds, which with only very short stages left on the rally, meant his chance of victory had gone.
And he showed the grace of a true champion when he simply said this sort of thing was part of the game, and congratulated Andreas.
Defeat rather than victory made Ogier a hero in my eyes.
- Martin Holmes
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