Sebastien Ogier starts strong in Japan

He comes from winning in the previous appointment in Spain and has started strongly in Japan, the rally that closes the 2022 World Cup this weekend. Sebastien Ogier has gone to bed as the first leader of the Japanese test after beating the crowd in the super special that opened the competition. Dani Sordo started cautiously and is ninth.

The country of the Rising Sun returns to the World Cup, which had not been there since 2010. After the two days of reconnaissance, the ‘shakedown’ has served to open the mouth on Thursday morning, with tie for the best record between Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans. That same special, Kuragaike Park, but in the opposite direction, has been the one that has served to start the competition at night. Its 2.75 kilometers ran between curbs, with slippery floors and many slopes.

And in them it has been Ogier, who has a new co-driver, Vicent Landais, in this test, who has set the best time. “It has been an intense recognition, but so far Vincent is doing a good job. It was already a good test tonight and so far so good. But tomorrow the real thing begins”, assured the Frenchman, who prevailed by tenths over most of his rivals.

Sordo lost 3.1 seconds in this first fight, and explained that “it is a complicated rally and it is special to start with this type of stage. It had a lot of bumps and surface changes, so it was a difficult special to start the rally.” But, as Ogier explained, it is still an ‘appetizer’, since tomorrow (at dawn in Spain) the longest day will be covered, with 6 stages and more than 130 timed kilometers.

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Classification

1. Ogier-Landais (Fra/Toyota), 2m 7.0s

2. Breen-Fulton (Gbr/Ford), at 0.1

3. Tanak-Jarveoja (Est/Hyundai), 0.2

4. Neuville-Wydaeghe (Bel/Hyundai), at 0.3

5. Rovanpera-Halttunen (Fin/Toyota), at 0.6

9. Deaf-Carrera (Esp/Hyundai), at 3.1

7. Deaf-Carrera (Esp/Hyundai), at 1.7

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