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GP Week : Issue 36
>>WRCINSIGHT #3 – Sebastien Ogier – J-WRC MEXICO saw Sebastien Ogier burst on to the international rally scene. It was first World Championship Rally, and he won the Junior World Rally Championship category, driving a Citroen like his illustrious namesake. Ogier’s car was much less powerful than Loeb’s, but Super 1600s are not for the nervous or the feint hearted. Ogier was now doing what he always wanted, working up to where he wanted to be with the help of those who spotted a worthy cause, such as his national federation. Mexico was no stroke of luck. He then went on to win the category on his next outing, Jordan, and he fought back to fifth in Sardinia after a rock damaged his suspension. The next time he entered as a championship contender he won on asphalt in Germany. It looked so easy for him to clinch the title in Spain, but he made a small driving mistake and retired with the front of his car smashed and the engine wrecked. There was to be no such mistake on the final round of the series. He cruised maturely to finish second and take the title in Corsica. Citroen bosses have followed his progress in detail, and now the title is settled he has been given the chance for discover World Rally Car motoring in Britain, and on at least six rounds of the championship next year. #5 – Juho Hanninen – PCWRC IT took a long time to realise just how good Juho Hanninen is, because he has the habit of doing things a little differently. From Finland, where the usual name is Juha, he is Juho. When he started winning awards, people did not notice. He won the Group N class in Sweden and Sardinia in 2006 in a Mitsubishi, a year when those rallies counted for JWRC cars. There was a scandal when he got noticed for being excluded for an offence related to his fireproof underclothes. Later that year he won the 1600cc class in Britain in a Citroen, but as he was not registered in the JWRC championship, few noticed. In 2007 he entered the PCWRC and got noticed again for the wrong reasons, on account of a debatable fuel tank modification. But then everything started to calm down. This year he has been driving for the Ralliart New Zealand team, has scored three victories in PCWRC and leads the series with one event to go from Andreas Aigner. He has seen bad luck and good luck. His PCWRC win in Japan might have came about when Novikov’s car failed on the final stage, but it had been a calculated drive. 65