Sebastien Ogier and friend. Image: Anne Chantal Pauwels Teste.
WORLD RALLY CHAMPION Sebastien Ogier finished two days of testing in Sweden this week with the crack British M-Sport Ford Fiesta outfit.
After four years at the top of one of the most punishing of motor racing series, the affable 33-year-old Frenchman is readying himself for the new technical rules which come into play for the 2017 season in a brand new ride.
M-Sport hasn’t enjoyed the success on the WRC stage that it probably warrants and, with Ogier at the wheel, there would seem no excuses left. Its main rival is likely to be Citroen.
Ogier is the best of the best having won four WRC titles with the all-encompassing Team Volkswagen, which finally decided enough is enough.
Like the ace driver himself, there is simply nothing more to prove.
And with the ills that have beset the German marque in recent times, a penny saved is a penny earned. Just this week Volkswagen announced a $US1billion settlement to cover part of the fallout from its past decisions.
No more WRC campaigns won’t come close to covering that outlay for many years to come, but it will help the company’s bottom line.
Ogier has two more days of testing in the Fiesta in the New Year, before the season gets into gear with the Monte Carlo Rally January 20-22.
Malcolm Wilson, the Cumbrian M-Sport chieftain, had a mammoth win when he nailed down Sebastien Ogier and now, we will wait to see what magic his new driver can conjure.