It’s what rally fans have been waiting to hear since Volkswagen’s World Rally Championship exit announcement, but now we know which team Sebastien Ogier will compete for in 2017.
Yes, we’ve finally found out Ogier’s future in the WRC, with the four-time champion signing with M-Sport for next season.
After an insane run of success with VW, Ogier was left without a drive when the German manufacturer announced its shock departure from the WRC last month.
He tested for M-Sport and Toyota, eventually signing a deal to drive for the former in the WRC in 2017 – with the season starting in Monaco at the end of January.
The insane-looking new Ford Fiesta WRC was launched last week, a car that Ogier sampled in November in Wales.
There’ll be little time for it to all sink in for Ogier, as the WRC legend will be off testing in Sweden next week.
Alongside Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia at M-Sport will be Ott Tanak and new co-driver Martin Järveoja. Tanak has previously competed with M-Sport but drove for DMACK in 2016, scoring two second-place finishes.
Ogier feels confident about his decision to move to M-Sport and is looking to take the team to the top step of the podium with the new Fiesta WRC.
Here’s what he had to say:
“There will be a lot of new things this season, but I am definitely looking forward to it. We have a new generation of world rally cars, and a new team – it’s certainly an exciting time. There’s not long before we line-up at the start of Rallye Monte-Carlo and we’ve not had a lot of seat time with the Ford Fiesta WRC, but we’ll give it our best to be ready. We’re aware of the challenges, and I can see how hungry Malcolm [Wilson] and his team are for success.
“It’s funny to think that just a few months ago I was sitting at a motorsport forum at Wales Rally GB saying how nice it would be to work with him one day. I had no idea at the time that it would come quite so soon, but here we are. I’m looking forward to working with M-Sport, and we’ll certainly be aiming to return them to the top-step of the podium!”