Mon 20 Mar 2023

Ogier dedicates Mexico win to late friend and trainer

Sébastien Ogier has dedicated his seventh Guanajuato Rally México victory to his late friend and trainer, Tim Lobinger, who recently passed away.

Lobinger was a former Olympic pole vaulter and a well-respected athletics coach in Munich, Germany, where Ogier resides. He passed away aged 50 on 16 February after bravely battling illness.

Ogier, who triumphed in Mexico for a record seventh time on Sunday afternoon, dedicated his success to the German, with whom he shared a strong professional and personal bond.  

"He was my trainer in Germany,” Ogier explained. “His name was Tim Lobinger. He had leukemia, unfortunately, that he was fighting for six years and unfortunately it came to an end not long ago.

“It was a sad moment because I obviously spent a lot of time with him and we became good friends, also because he has a son who is the same age as mine. We made him the promise that he will always be with us and that we will also treat the little one as our own kid as well.”

The eight-time WRC champion went on to describe Lobinger's resilience and positivity, despite the challenges he faced.

"He was really amazing that he fought for so long and was always so positive. He always managed to ask me how I am - when I was checking on him, he was asking how I am. There's always some learning you can have in that moment.

"Like I said, we have him in our hearts at the moment and we have been thinking about him. This was the first rally since he left us and it's natural for me to dedicate this win to him. I am sure he has seen that, and he is happy," said Ogier.

Ogier and co-driver Vincent Landais will be back in action for Toyota Gazoo Racing at next month’s Croatia Rally, which takes place from 20 - 23 April. The French duo now lead the championship after round three of 13.

Guanajuato Rally México 2023: Event Highlights
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM