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Mon 24 Oct 2022

Ogier: I never had to prove anything

RallyRACC - Rally de España winner Sébastien Ogier has talked of his special feeling with the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 across last weekend.

The Frenchman found speed, form and confidence where his team-mates – including the recently crowned world champion Kalle Rovanperä – couldn’t. Despite the result, Ogier insists he wasn’t out to prove a point, just to enjoy himself.

“There’s really nothing for me to prove,” he said. “I love the competition against the guys like Ott [Tänak], Thierry [Neuville] and Kalle – it’s always a big fight and this one was really intense. I like that, to win this way is really nice.”

Ogier paid tribute to his world championship-winning Toyota squad for producing a car which fitted him like a glove, despite the Salou-based event being his first pure asphalt rally of the season.

“The test day went quite well for me,” he said. “I made changes, they felt good and they worked. To be honest, I didn’t know where would be my pace before this rally. OK, we did New Zealand and we were second there, but it was quite a while since I drove on Tarmac.

“When I started to drive, the car was really good and I felt I could do what I wanted with it. I was relaxed after Friday morning and then the speed was there. I was a little bit surprised, sometimes in the past years we haven’t had the same sort of pace here – but maybe that’s because I was thinking to the [drivers’] championship.

“Now, I could push and really enjoy the car and that’s what I did.”

Ogier’s victory helped co-driver Benjamin Veillas overcome the disappointment of missing out on January’s  Rallye Monte-Carlo win due to a puncture and, of course, helped Toyota to secure the manufacturers’ title.