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Sebastien Ogier is returning to Citroen’s rally team
Struggling WRC team swoops for the five-times champ, seven years after he left
Citroen’s not been having a great time in WRC of late. While Hyundai, Toyota and M Sport have been racking up wins, the French team – so used to crushing victories when it was led by Sebastien Loeb – has struggled to make an impact, shuffling between drivers.
Perhaps its latest driver change will make a bigger difference. From 2019, Sebastien Ogier –and co-driver Julien Ingrassia – will return to the team, seven years after departing Citroen for Volkswagen. Where they went on to chalk up four consecutive world championships, adding a fifth at M Sport last year.
It may have narked Citroen to see a driver pairing they signed back in 2008 as Junior World Champions chalk up so much success, but it’ll doubtless all be forgotten if Ogier and Ingrassia hop in the C3 WRC in Monte Carlo next January and immediately return the team to winning ways.
After championship trophies in a VW Polo and Ford Fiesta, there’s also incentive for the pair to win a title elsewhere.
“I’m really enthusiastic about the prospect of taking on this new challenge with Citroën as I haven’t forgotten that this is the team that first gave me the opportunity to compete in the world championship,” says Ogier.
“I’m excited to try and pull off the challenge of becoming world champion with a third different manufacturer. Although I’m not taking anything for granted, I am convinced that the car has definite potential.”
While 2018 hasn’t gone Ogier’s way thus far, he could still chalk up a sixth consecutive world title this year; with two WRC rounds to go, he sits third in the standings, 23 points behind leader Thierry Neuville, with 90 points to play for. If only all top-level motorsport could be so close-run…