Sébastien Ogier les yeux rivés vers un huitième sacre mondial.

Sebastien Ogier takes the lead in the WRC general classification on the eve of the last Monza Rally, which begins on Thursday. The French driver, who will drop next year, is well positioned to win an eighth world title.

«Watching MotoGP in the future will never be the same“. employment InstagramSebastien Ogier welcomed the departure of Valentino Rossi, who retired after his last Grand Prix at Valencia last Sunday. This Sunday, it will be the Frenchman’s turn to bid farewell to the discipline he would have been flying too. It remains unknown: will he be crowned world champion for the eighth time in his career?

Ogier advances to Monza, the scene of the 12th and final round of the WRC season, by 17 points over runner-up and teammate Elfyn Evans. The lead was gained thanks to a slightly more significant consistency from the Welshman (4 wins vs 2 for Evans, 38 specials wins for 32; 6 podiums each). Enough to get on a roller coaster?

The hunter became the hunted

First, it must be remembered that Gapençais had the opposite comparative advantage last year, being 14 points behind… over Elfyn Evans, who left at the worst of times, thus awarding his seventh title to his opponent. Thus the hunter became the pursuer. “The situation near Monza is more convenient than it was a year ago, and now I have the cards in handAuger agrees. But nothing is done, we have to stay focused.»

Julien Ingracia and Sebastien Ogier won the title during the final race at Monza in December 2020. panoramic

Especially since pressure has de facto changed sides. His Welsh runner, who has never held a title, has certainly learned the lessons of the past and is stepping forward this time as an outsider, feeling that you have nothing to lose. “We’re the underdogs but Scott (Martin, his assistant) will do our bestEvans warns. Our approach is very simple: aim for the best possible result and see how it goes. A scenario that had smiled on Ogier last year. One thing is for sure, a beautiful battle is taking shape between the two champions from Thursday, the day get away Before the first specials on Friday. “We can’t wait to see a level playing field between Sebastian and Elvin to decide the titleExcited former driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who is now Toyota Team Principal.

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The der Ingrassia, co-pilot Sébastien Ogier

Italian asphalt has everything and a warm welcome to the Toyota driver who won there last year on his first visit, while a final stage was added at Monza to make up for the various defections due to the pandemic. This year, Monza was added to the calendar again as a replacement, this time for the Japan Rally. The equation then is very simple, Ogier should not concede more than 17 points to his opponent, knowing that in the event of a tie, the Frenchman will end up being the world champion thanks to a larger nest egg.

Thus Ogier dreams of a conclusion in his apotheosis 168NS Starting in the World Rally Championship (53 victories, 90 podiums) together with his co-driver Julian Ingracia, with whom he began his collaboration in 2006. At 41, Ingracia announced that he will definitely withdraw from the rallies, while Ogier (37) will continue He appeared a few times, without hoping to win nine world titles from his illustrious predecessor, Sebastien Loeb. “Racing for records has never been my career planThe person explained, however, that he visited Figaro in December 2018, the day after his sixth coronation.

Another stake in the constructors’ championship

Thus this last dance takes on a more symbolic dimension for the duo: “For sure, this rally will really be the end of a sporting chapter for me and especially for Julian¸ notes Ogier, very relieved before this last trip with Ingrassia. But that’s not something that worries me at the moment. I think this is the best way to prepare for this rally, so that I can give my best, my eyes are on our goal of winning both titles.»

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Because in addition to the world title, Ogier and Ingrassia will bring the building blocks of the constructors’ championship, which rival Hyundai has owned for two seasons. At Monza, Toyota with a comfortable mattress is 47 points ahead of the Korean manufacturer, and sees a second title in the 21st.NS Century, after 2018. A title that should allow the Japanese to better prepare for the transition to the Hybrid Era next year, where cards can be folded.

«We are excited to go to Monza to regain the three league titles, it has been our dream for a long time“,” confirmed Latvala, Toyota Team Principal. This hat-trick (factory, driver and co-driver) will be the first since the 1990s for the Japanese manufacturer, while Sebastien Ogier was driving a Ford in 2018. This would also validate the selection of the Finn as team principal, which was confirmed ahead of the 2021 season.”It would be the perfect way to end the rally car era.Finn concludes. There is no doubt that this title battle should begin with the Toyota business.

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