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World Rally Championship

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Sebastien Ogier joins Volkswagen WRC team

This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of AndrewTanner AndrewTanner 2 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #130513
    Avatar of Keith Collantine
    keithcollantine
    Keymaster

    Fresh from being dumped by Citroen, Sebastien Ogier has signed a three-year deal to drive for Volkswagen’s WRC team:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeicxXyqwvw

    #184851
    Avatar of JPedroCQF1
    JPedroCQF1
    Participant

    I’m not admired by it. With Ford so full of doubts regarding its participation next year, and Mini having problems with financement, VW was the best bet he could make.

    And this will be an great addiction to VW, as Ogier will certainly share some Citröen secrets.

    #184852
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    So, the question becomes – who does Ford put in the second Fiesta alongside Latvala?

    I vote Mads Ostberg.

    #184853
    Avatar of Keith Collantine
    keithcollantine
    Keymaster

    Full press release now out:

    Sébastien Ogier has been signed as the first official Volkswagen driver for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The 27-year-old Frenchman and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia (31) are joining the Volkswagen Motorsport squad effective immediately. Ogier, who finished the 2011 WRC in third place, will be instrumental in helping to shape the development of the Polo R WRC for Volkswagen’s 2013 entry in the World Rally Championship.

    ‘Volkswagen is the number one in Europe and will soon be number one in the world,’ said an exuberant Sébastien Ogier on his arrival in Hanover. ‘I’m sure that they’re going to compete with the goal of clinching the WRC title, and I’m happy to be part of this from the outset.’ And co-driver Julien Ingrassia stresses with self-confidence: ‘We’re looking forward to a team with a fighting spirit and the determination to win. Anything’s possible!’

    ‘I am very happy about Sébastian Ogier and Julien Ingrassia joining us,’ says Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management for the Development Division. ‘Both of them are important pieces of the puzzle on our way towards building a successful team in the World Rally Championship. It is also a mark of confidence for our team if such a strong pairing opts for a new team in the WRC that is still in the process of being developed.’ Motorsport Director Kris Nissen adds: “We are proud that such a successful and quick duo as Sébastian Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia have decided to join Volkswagen. The aim of putting a competitive Polo R WRC on the road for them as quickly as possible will additionally drive our team. We look forward to working with them and are hoping for many victories and titles in the future.’

    Also involved in the contractual negotiations was rally legend Carlos Sainz, who is instrumental in the successful implementation of the WRC 2013 project as an expert adviser to the Volkswagen team. “For me, Sébastien is one of the world’s three best drivers,’ praises the two-time World Rally Champion (1990, 1992) and 2010 Dakar winner. The Frenchman, who was Junior WRC Champion in 2008 and third in the 2011 WRC, is considered one of the world’s best drivers. Many experts view the rally racer, who is also a licenced ski instructor, as the upcoming World Champion. In the past season, he won five rallies, thus winning the same number of events as the subsequent world champion Sébastien Loeb. In 2010, in Portugal, he mounted the top of the podium for the first time and has been successful at seven WRC rounds so far.

    Ogier will perform his first run as a Volkswagen factory driver at the Race Of Champions in Düsseldorf on 3 and 4 December, being pitted against the other “Super Seb” from Formula One.

    Sébastien Ogier
    Date and place of birth: 17 December 1983 in Gap, Hautes Alpes (France)
    Height: 1.81 m
    Weight: 75 kg
    Profession: Ski Instructor
    Successes: 2008 Junior World Rally Champion; 2010 First victory at the Portugal Rally;
    45 rallies, 7 victories, 14 podium places

    Julien Ingrassia
    Date and place of birth: 26 November 1979 in Aix-en-Provence (France)
    Height: 1.83 m
    Weight: 72 kg
    Profession: Businessman
    Successes: 2008 Junior World Rally Champion; 2010 First victory at the Portugal Rally;
    45 rallies, 7 victories, 14 podium places

    #184854
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Profession: Ski Instructor

    and

    Profession: Businessman

    … Huh?

    #184855
    Avatar of Journeyer
    Journeyer
    Participant

    Ski instructor, eh? Sounds like he’d get along well with Craig Pollock. :D

    Seriously, though, it’s an interesting move. I think that it does ensure Loeb the 2012 title, particularly if Ford is reduced to a privateer effort. It’s not a fatal blow (Loeb won one of those titles in a privateer Citroen), but the lack of a clear leader in Ford may well be it.

    2013 and beyond, though? Things will get very interesting very quickly.

    #184856
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    I don’t think Ford will fully suffer if they’re reduced to customer teams. Most of their cars are not prepared by the factory, unlike Citroen.

    #184857
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Ogier will contest a full WRC schedule in 2012, campaigning with a Skoba Fabia S2000 (which is actually a pretty neat little car):

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96431

    #184858
    Avatar of dam00r
    dam00r
    Participant

    Mini will be very competitive next year. I hope.

    #184859
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Citroen will be fielding two more entries in 2012. First, they will be running a third works car for Nasser al-Attiyah at all events except for the Rallye Monte Carlo (which clashes with the Dakar Rally). And they will be running a non-manufacturer car for IRC star Thierry Neuville at nine rounds, with further entries in France and Spain on offer if he performs well in the first half of the season. Neuville will not compete in Italy or New Zealand (and speaking of New Zealand, Kiwi PWRC champion Hayden Paddon will contest the Super 2000 WRC in a Skoda Fabia S2000).

    #184860
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Let’s just make this the team and driver thread.

    Kris Meeke will not be competing with Mini in 2012:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96830

    Mini couldn’t get the budget together for two full-time works drives. Instead, Dani Sordo will compete at every round, with local drivers running in the secnod car. Meeke may get an opportunity to drive the second car.

    #184861
    Avatar of AndrewTanner
    AndrewTanner
    Participant

    That’s disappointing for Meeke, really disappointing. They had some great results towards the end of the season.

    Solberg is now with Ford

    http://www.pettersolberg.com/html/2011/12/15/petter-in-a-ford-in-2012/

    #184862
    Avatar of Polishboy808
    Polishboy808
    Participant

    YES!!! Finally! That man deserved a factory driver for YEARS now! I hope he’ll be at the top consistently next year, and I mean the top-top. Best news I’ve heard in a while, even if it wasn’t much of a secret!

    #184863
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Uh, he had a factory drive. He was just left out in the cold when Subaru withdrew (which was a shame, because that hatchback was a wicked-looking car). He was just forced to trundle around in a privateer team for three years. To be perfectly honest, I think he made a mistake in joining Citroen. They offered their customer teams virtually no support once the car was delibered. Ford, on the other hand, gave their privateer entries plenty of aid.

    Anyway, I think the Fiesta’s 2012 livery is horrible (though I have noticed that they have lost support from Abu Dhabi. You’d think Ford would be smart enough to recognise how popular the ‘Black Attack’ livery is, and use it instead. They did in France this year and it was very popualr.

    #184864
    Avatar of AndrewTanner
    AndrewTanner
    Participant

    That is a nice livery indeed, the 2012 one. I did like the 2010 effort quite a lot though.

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