World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier has vowed to abandon this weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna if his expectant wife goes into labour early.
France’s Sebastien Ogier is bidding to increase his points advantage with a fourth consecutive victory on the Mediterranean island, but the 32-year-old Frenchman will not hesitate to walk away if his first child with television presenter wife Andrea Kaiser arrives early.
Their baby is due between the Italian fixture and the next round in Poland, which starts on 30 June. But Ogier will have a private plane on standby throughout the rally at Sardinia’s Alghero Airport, ready to jet out to Germany should he need to.
“I’m very excited to start soon a new life as Andrea and I are expecting our first child,” said Ogier. “The due date is after the rally, but you never know.
“If the baby arrives during the rally, I will head straight to my wife. That is a moment that I definitely don’t want to miss. The team is supporting me 100 per cent in this decision,” added the Volkswagen Polo R driver.
Impending fatherhood will do nothing to distract Ogier if things run to schedule.
“I’m very confident heading to Italy, since the season has been fantastic so far. Julien (Ingrassia, co-driver) and I have been on the podium at every rally and we want to build on this streak. Even though it isn’t one of my favourite rallies, I have learned to like it,” he said.
It is three rallies since Ogier last won and the last time that happened was in 2012. To end that run he faces a huge challenge amid the heat and rock-strewn gravel roads of what is rated by many as the toughest in the calendar.
As championship leader he will open the roads for the first two legs, sweeping them clear of small stones to leave a cleaner line and more grip for those behind.
Rally Italia Sardegna countdown: Route
Two all-new special stages headline Rally Italia Sardegna’s route which shows significant changes compared to 2015. Read more HERE.