The seven-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Ogier is set to test a World Endurance Championship (WEC) vehicle for the first time. The trial will take place at the official rookie test, scheduled for November 7 at the Bahrain International Circuit, which is to host the season’s finale the day before.
As expected, the French champion, who is currently competing for his eighth WRC title with Toyota, will try out his team’s vehicle for this WEC season. This is the GR010 HYBRID Hypercar which belongs to the new Hypercar class, now considered the top category of the speciality.
“As everyone knows, it’s a dream of mine to compete in endurance racing in the future and the test in Bahrain is important to learn more about the car and about my own level. It’s a big challenge for me and I’m working hard to be ready for Bahrain, but I’m really looking forward to it,”, concluded Sebastien Ogier.
The also French winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP2, Charles Milesi, will accompany Sebastien Ogier at his Persian Gulf engagement after having been chosen by WEC organizers to take a seat in the GR010.
This test is a first step towards Ogier’s dream of participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in his country as well as in the World Endurance Championship. For now, however, he has confirmed that he will not take part in the full WEC campaign in 2022. The champion still has to outline his competitive program for the next year, which is yet to be fully defined.
Ogier has already been working with the Toyota’s simulator at its headquarters in Cologne for two days in order to prepare for the WEC rookie test in Bahrain. Aware of his lack of experience in endurance racing, he has admitted it is highly likely he might need to start at a category lower than hypercars: “I am open to making any step to progress if it’s needed”.
The legendary champion’s circuit racing experience is limited to a handful of sporadic appearances in the DTM (German Touring Car Championship), the Porsche Supercup, and the national GT Series in Germany and France.
“I’m happy to be driving the GR010 HYBRID Hypercar on track for the first time in the official WEC rookie test in Bahrain. The simulator session went well; it was nice to work with the team and discover the GR010 HYBRID for the first time. I could already feel that the Hypercar is very different to the TS050 HYBRID which I drove on the simulator last year”.
WRC´s title in Monza
Just twelve days after his test in the Persian Gulf, Sebastien Ogier will go back to resume the World Rally Championship in Monza (12-19 November), where he will seek his eighth WRC title. Ogier holds fond memories of Italy.
Last season he sealed his seventh crown in that very circuit and against the very same rival he is facing this time around, his teammate Elfyn Evans. After finishing fourth in the Spanish Rally, Ogier now leads Evans by 17 points.
Shortly after the curtain falls on the World Rally Championship, Ogier will get behind the wheel of the Toyota Rally 1 2022 for the first time, which is to inaugurate the new hybrid era of the speciality.
Images of Sebastien Ogier: Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC.
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