Sébastien Ogier will be at the start of Rally Italia Sardegna to continue his dream of conquering the ninth world championship in the WRC.
The confirmation came on Tuesday evening, when Toyota announced its four-point formation for the Italian race scheduled for the weekend of June 1-4.
The Frenchman, who is still at the top of the World Championship standings at 69 points, will share the cockpit of the Yaris GR #17 with Vincent Landais on the Sardinian dirt roads, in the hunt for another result that can keep him in contention for the title despite also having a partial program in the series for 2023.
Sebastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
“Sardinia is a territory that I have learned to love – said Ogier, winner in Monte Carlo and in Mexico, and on the podium in Croatia – I struggled a bit at first, but over the years I began to dominate it more and more more. The last memories I have of this 2021 race are very good, because we managed to win by starting first and these kinds of victories are very precious because normally it’s not possible to do it when you’re in that position”.
“Probably at this point I won’t be the first to hit the road in the stages, so I hope to have a better starting position, but it’s still a difficult challenge. Mexico was similar in terms of conditions, but in Sardinia there are more specific courses and for me it will be the first gravel rally with maximum power, so we need to work on the car to try to be as ready as possible”.
“The tests are limited, so these days are certainly important and there are many elements that we will examine with the team to be ready. This year there will be long stages, even of 50 kilometres; I honestly like it because it adds a little spice to the race and some tire management, which is usually a good thing for me. It will be an interesting rally.”
Naturally in TGR they will also have to think about strategy because the current situation sees Elfyn Evans in the lead on a par with the Frenchman, followed by their teammate Kalle Rovanperä by one length.
Both will get on board their respective Yaris flanked by Scott Martin and Jonne Halttunen, while the fourth car will, as always, go to Takamoto Katsuta and Aaron Johnston.