Volkswagen’s World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier Will Drive Souped Up Ford Fiesta Now
Sébastien Ogier is no stranger to the winners’ circle, having driven his Volkswagen to four consecutive World Rally Championship titles. However, next year, Ogier will be leaving his Volkswagen behind, in favor of a souped up Ford Fiesta for M-Sport.
The four-time champ decided to back M-Sport in the Ford Fiesta WRC, alongside co-driver Julien Ingrassia, after Volkswagen Motorsport chose to withdraw from the WRC in 2017. So Ogier’s decision to join M-Sport is less about ditching Volkswagen of his own volition and more about VW forcing his hand, as Volkswagen Motorsport team is choosing to focus on “upcoming technologies in motorsport” and on their “customer sports range”.
Of course, Volkswagen hasn’t exactly been having a great year after the Dieselgate scandal revealed that the company programmed its diesel engines to cheat during emissions tests, which had the end result of plummeting the company’s stock price and subject them to countless regulatory investigations. Dropping out of the World Rally Championship comes across as a last-ditch attempt to refocus priorities and get VW back on its feet.
While we won’t find out until next year whether or not Ogier and Ingrassia will be able to duplicate their Volkswagen success with the Ford Fiesta WRC, it seems like the team has every confidence in being able to keep the winning streak alive.