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Mon 13 Nov 2023

Ogier: There's pressure for Toyota to deliver at home

Sébastien Ogier has talked of the responsibility on the shoulders of the Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers heading into this week’s FORUM8 Rally Japan (16 - 19 November).

Toyota competed on its home round of the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time last year and was frustrated to see rival squad Hyundai Motorsport score a one-two result in its own backyard. Ogier wants to help his team put that right this time around.


“It’s always a special event, the home rally for the team,” said the eight-time world champion. “As a driver, you do feel the responsibility to try to win.


“We know there will be a lot of fans out there watching Toyota. Last year the support was incredible, so many people, so many fans. Winning at home would be special. We know the main targets for the team [the world championship titles] have been achieved, but this [Rally Japan victory] would mean a lot and that’s what we will be trying for.”


Starting further down the order on day one, and despite rain forecast through the rally, Ogier appeared more relaxed about the weather.


He continued: “We have seen last year it’s normally a rally where start position doesn't really affect anything any cuts. The road conditions should stay stable and hopefully we can have a good fight.”


Ogier finished last year’s event in fourth place, having dropped time with wheel damage on the second stage.