After he tested new Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC in Wales last month, M-Sport have announced that Sebastien Ogier will drive for them in 2017. The four-time WRC World Champion was sufficiently impressed by the car to agree terms with the Cumbrian team.
Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia dominated the last four years in the all conquering Volkswagen Polo but were left without a drive when the German car manufacturer ended its commitment to the sport.
The pair are a force to be reckoned with and since starting their WRC assault in 2008, have secured four world championships, 38 victories, 56 podiums and an impressive 475 stage wins.
Ogier will lead the M-Sport team with Estonian 2016 Driver of the Year, Ott Tänak, and with just 39 days until the start of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the defending champion cannot wait to get going. “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,” said Ogier.
“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!”
Wilson, M-Sport Managing Director, added: “We go to Rallye Monte-Carlo with the number one on the door of the Ford Fiesta WRC and the strongest driver line-up we have had in years. To say we’re excited about next season is an understatement. We believe that we have produced an exceptional car, and we are in the best possible position ahead of this exciting new era.
“I’ve made no secret of how much we wanted to work with Sebastien and Julien, and it is fantastic to welcome them to the team. We have worked extremely hard to secure them, and they believe that the Ford Fiesta WRC is the car with which they can best defend their championship.”