21 Oct 08
Sebastien Ogier, the newly crowned 2008 Junior World Rally Champion, will be rewarded for his hard work with an entry on December’s Wales Rally GB in a factory supported Citroen C4 WRC.
Ogier clinched the J-WRC title on the recent Rallye de France-Tour de Corse driving a C2 S1600 supported by Citroen and France's motor sport governing body the FFSA. The same two backers will make it possible for him to try the C4 WRC on Wales Rally GB.
"Spotting and grooming talented young drivers is an integral part of Citroen's approach to motor sport," explained Citroen Sport director, Olivier Quesnel. "There is no finer example of this than the rise to fame of Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, and their status today as multiple World Champions. This year, we chose to support the programme of Sebastien Ogier in the Junior World Championship which is a first class springboard to the premier category. Sebastien's score of three wins from seven starts helped him achieve the objective he was set, and he ended up making sure of the title in Corsica. As a reward for his results, and in association with the FFSA, we have decided to enter a C4 WRC for him on the 2008 Wales Rally GB."
In common with the cars campaigned by Conrad Rautenbach and Urmo Aava, Ogier’s C4 WRC will be run on the event by PH Sport with the assistance of technicians from Citroen Sport Technologies. His car will feature a similar livery to that of his C2 and will sport the colours of the FFSA, Total and Citroen.
But desite Ogier’s position as one of the brightest young stars in the WRC, Quesnel insisted no decisions had been taken about his programme for 2009.
"The Wales Rally GB will give us a chance to see how Sebastien performs in a WRC car and will give him another opportunity to show what he can do," explained Quesnel. "To be sure he feels under no pressure, all I ask of him is that he gets as many kilometres under his belt as possible. It will be down to him to demonstrate his ability to adapt. After that, we will look together to see what openings there might be for his future."
"This is a great opportunity; in fact, it's more an early Christmas present," said Ogier. "Once again, I would like to thank Citroen and the FFSA for their confidence. I am perfectly aware of how fortunate I am. The Wales Rally GB is one of the most complex rounds of the season and I will tackle it cautiously, with humility and with the intention of learning."