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Sebastien Ogier targets team title in Australia

Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier said the Rallye Deutschland was behind the team, ahead of the Rally Australia starting Friday.

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Frenchman Ogier holds a 44-point advantage from closest rival, team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland, heading into the fourth-last event of the 2014 season.

Volksawgen need just five points between the pair in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, to secure the manufacturers' championship, meaning all eyes are on the drivers' title.

Should Ogier and Latvala combine for five points, it will be the earliest a garage has secured the team title in 25 years, however they picked up zero between them at their last start in Germany in August.

Ogier, chasing consecutive drivers' trophies, said he has positive memories of his last trip to Australia, which counted as one of his nine race wins in 2013 with co-driver Julien Ingrassia.

"I love the layout of the special stages and always feel good Down Under. 2013 was almost perfect for Julien and me - 19 best times on 22 special stages," Ogier said.

"Naturally we want to repeat that this year. Rallye Deutschland is behind us and we're looking ahead.

"We secured the drivers' title for Volkswagen in Germany, but not the manufacturers' championship. That's definitely the goal for Australia."

Latvala, who joined Ogier in going point-less in Germany after coughing up a winning position, said it would be tough to make the proper surface adjustments.

He also said Citreon's two-car team and Hyundai's seven-vehicle outfit would cause them some problems in Australia.

"Switching back from asphalt to gravel is always harder than the other way around, but we had a test in Finland before the rally to get used to the feeling once again.

"Finland is a good choice since the rally Down Under requires a vehicle set-up somewhere between Mexico and Finland.

"I hope that I can fight for the win.

"But we also need to keep an eye on the competition outside of our team. I think that Citroen and Hyundai also have a good chance of winning."

Thierry Neuville, who broke through for his career first World Rally Championship victory in Germany, said while he was thrilled to win for Hyundai, he was also focussed on finishing the season strong.

"Claiming our first win was of course a moment we will never forget, especially considering that we started the rally with a bad accident on shakedown. However, we have to stay with our feet on the ground and be focussed for Australia," the Belgian 26-year-old said.

"We had a very good result there last year and I know the roads quite well now, so we will definitely be looking to have a clean run, to bring the car to the finish and try to set some good times.

"We didn't have the chance to test before Australia but we have experienced the i20 WRC in similar conditions so I think we are prepared for the event."

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