|Sébastien Ogier’s incredible run of six FIA World Rally Championship titles came to an end last season when Estonian Ott Tänak claimed a maiden triumph, however the Frenchman believes he can win a seventh after his switch from Citroën to Toyota to cap a fine WRC career.
The Japanese team has a rich history in rally driving with 2020 Dakar Rally champion Carlos Sainz, Finnish great Juha Kankkunen and Frenchman Didier Auriol all winning titles driving the Celica, while they also have four constructors’ titles.
After testing the latest Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT contender, the 36-year-old explained what he feels the Yaris car can produce from Monte Carlo onwards this week as he looks to win the title with a third different constructor before he finishes his WRC career.
Here is what the Gap native had to say:
Toyota has a rich WRC history with iconic cars and drivers, so what is it like to be part of that story?
It’s definitely something special to be competing for Toyota with what they have achieved in the past and, of course, Juha. Toyota is such an iconic brand and we definitely hope to write some history together. On top of that, it’s even more special for me personally because when I first started following rally I was rooting for Tommi (team principal Mäkinen) so it’s actually a dream come true to be able to work with him now.
What are your first impressions of the Yaris WRC?
The car feels really good. We just had our last test before the season starts and I have a good feeling heading into the first event. Obviously, we don’t know where we are compared to the other teams before the first couple of stages at Rally Monte Carlo but I’m confident.
It has been a while since you started the year without the championship, so how have you prepared mentally for 2020?
To be honest, I’ve been preparing in the same way as before. Nothing has changed really, but we will obviously fight hard to win the championship back.
Have you and Julien (navigator Ingrassia) changed your approach for this season?
As I say, nothing has changed for us. We are still the same as before and, if anything, the fact that we didn’t win last year has just given us even more hunger to succeed.
What is it like being reunited with Elfyn Evans as a team-mate?
I know Elfyn from my time at M-Sport and I’m very happy to have him in the team. He is a really good driver and can give a lot of feedback to the team about the car and therefore push the development as well.