Driver Sebastien Ogier delays World Rally Championship retirement plans for another year after signing a new deal extension with Toyota Gazoo Racing until the end of 2021.
The six-time champion from Gap made the official announcement and said to be delighted to compete for a second year with the Japanese team, with which he will attempt a more fitting farewell to the sport next season.
“This 2020 year was not as long as expected, I would say. We have had a short season with only a few rallies, but enough for me to see that I really enjoy working with the team, I enjoy driving this car. I’m very happy to finally announce and confirm that I will drive one more year in WRC with Toyota Gazoo Racing”.
With his decision, the French rally driver changes his start of season plans. Before the breakout of the pandemic, Sebastien Ogier had made public his intention to leave the World Championship at the end of 2020.
The coronavirus, however, has had a strong impact on the competition, causing numerous cancellations.
In March and only three races into the season, the championship had to be suspended due to the very real health threat caused by the spread of the disease. It took almost six months for racing to resume with only four more appointments able to go ahead for a total of only seven rounds.
Given the circumstances, the legendary driver felt this was a far from ideal way to bid his final goodbye to the competition. Also, Ogier is confident he has enough stamina and ambition to continue for one more year.
His ultimate goal, of course, is none other than to get closer to the nine crowns of his compatriot and closest rival, Sebastien Loeb.
Currently, Ogier is second in the standings with 97 points -one win in Mexico-, 14 less than his partner and leader the Briton Elfyn Evans (111). Both will come head-to-head for the title at the final round in Monza which is scheduled for December 3-6.
Images of Sebastien Ogier: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT.