Sebastien Ogier’s co-driver had to have an operation on his shoulder at the end of June, after he broke his collarbone coming off his mountain bike during a training ride.
The complex surgery left the 33-year-old Frenchman with a 30cm scar, nine screws, a titanium plate and concerns that he might not be fit enough for this week’s eighth round of the World Rally Championship season.
Another co-driver, Nicolas Klinger, stood in for Ingrassia at Volkswagen’s pre-event test for Rallye Deutschland while he recuperated.
However, after a thorough medical examination at the Bad Nauheim Sports Injury Clinic last week and a successful test drive on Saturday, the team of doctors headed by Dr Johannes Peil gave Ingrassia the green light.
“I am so relieved that I have managed to get back to full health in time for the Rally Finland,” said Ingrassia. “My thanks go out to the doctors for the great job they have done on me and the whole Volkswagen team, who have always supported me and sent me their best wishes. Now, I cannot wait to get back out on the road with Sebastien.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito said the whole team was happy Julien was back to full health: “Our main priority is always the well-being of our drivers – we never want to take any risks.
“In the worst-case scenario, it would have been better that Julien sits out one race than risk being out for a long time. You can only start a World Championship rally if you are in good health. That’s why in Nicolas Klinger we would have had an excellent replacement.
“I would like to thank Nicolas for the great levels of commitment he demonstrated in the most recent test runs and for his willingness to step in for Julien in Finland if needed.”