Sebastien Ogier went four WRC seasons without a championship. Then, when he debuted the Volkswagen Polo R WRC car in 2013, that changed very quickly. He won four straight titles with Volkswagen, then two straight with M-Sport's Ford program. A brief return to Citroen in 2019 saw him finish a disappointing third, but he came back to championship form with Toyota's GR Yaris program last year, his seventh. After winning this weekend's Rally Monza for that program, he now has his eighth title in nine years.
It was an interesting season for Ogier, who started typically hot with four wins in the year's first six rallies. One of those wins was an all-timer, a narrow win in the Croatia Rally despite crashing into a road car between stages. Then, that success turned cold very quickly. Ogier failed to finish better than third in any of the next five rallies, even as his Toyota teammates Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera combined for three wins. It opened the door for Evans to have a shot in the season-ending Rally Monza, but Ogier got back to form to win the event and take his eighth title.
That eighth title puts him just one behind his former Citroen teammate Sebastien Loeb, the man that ruined rallying and the holder of nine world rally championships. Ogier will have a shot to match Loeb's most distinctive record next season, and he might have a chance to match one of Loeb's greatest non-rallying feats, too. Loeb finished second overall for Pescarolo Sport in the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans; Ogier is testing Toyota's Le Mans-winning GR010 Hypercar and could have a chance to race it next season. Any Toyota entry in the 24 hour classic will be among the clear pre-race favorites in 2022. Could Ogier become a Le Mans winner and a nine-time champion in the same calendar year?
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