OGIER FOR M-SPORT
Multiple champion joins British squad
Sebastien Ogier will lead the M-sport World Rally Team next season after agreeing terms with the British squad earlier this week.
The Frenchman will begin testing the all-new Ford Fiesta RS WRC in Sweden this week before he heads off on holiday for two weeks. His Monte Carlo Rally preparations will commence in the New Year.
Ogier made his decision following protracted negotiations with M-sport managing director Malcolm Wilson. He advised Wilson of his decision to join him on Monday afternoon.
Ogier said: “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 Rally 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!”
For Wilson, signing the fourtime world champion was the realisation of a month’s work. The Cumbrian is confident the combination of Ogier’s speed and his team’s new car will put the partnership at the forefront of next year’s WRC.
Wilson said: “This is fantastic news. I’ve made no effort to hide how much I wanted to sign Sebastien and Julien [Ingrassia, co-driver] and we’ve worked very hard to put this deal together. Put it this way, I can fully understand why he’s a four-time world champion: his attention to detail is quite exceptional.
“The whole team is hugely excited about the chance to work with these guys, it’s the opportunity we’ve been waiting for and it comes at just the right time with the launch of our new car.”
M-sport revealed its 2017-specification Ford Fiesta RS WRC last week – and it was quickly granted the seal of approval from Henry Ford III.
The great grandson of Henry Ford visited M-sport’s Dovenby headquarters last week, where he