Racer of the Decade Nominee #2 – Sebastien Ogier

Sebastien Ogier was being tipped for great things at the start of the decade and that is exactly what he delivered. Following compatriot Sebastien Loeb’s retirement, he took over the mantle of WRC’s leading man, taking six consecutive titles from 2013-2018.

Ogier began the decade with just one season of experience in WRC machinery where he had picked up a single podium.

2010 would turn out to be his breakthrough year. He picked up two victories and six podium finishes and earned promotion from the Citroen Junior Team to the factory team for three events in the latter part of the season.

His first full season with the Citroen factory team would turn out to be a controversial one, as his relationship with then seven-time champion Sebastien Loeb became very tense.

Ogier impressed with five wins (as many as Loeb), but ended up falling short of the title due to a few crashes. He parted ways with Citroen at the end of the season and joined Volkswagen’s WRC project, which would turn out to be a fantastic move.

Ogier on the way to his first win with VW at Rally Sweden 2013

After spending the 2012 season developing the VW Polo R, Ogier would go onto dominate the WRC for the next four years. He won more than half the events during that period (31 out of 52) and the organisers even changed the running-order rules to try and give others a better chance.

Ultimately, the diesel-gate scandal would bring an end to Ogier’s period of complete dominance, as VW pulled out of the championship ahead of the 2017 season.

Ogier made the bold decision to join privateer squad M-Sport for the new season and immediately took to the top spot with victory at Rally Monte-Carlo.

Despite not having the fastest package, the Frenchmen showed brilliant consistency to pick up his fifth title in a row. Although he only picked up two wins (nothing compared to his VW years), many consider this to be his best season and the true sign of his brilliance.

He sealed his sixth title, and second with M-Sport, last year after a tremendous fightback in the last three rounds of the season when all seemed lost.

Ogier (right) celebrating his sixth world title with M-Sport Team Principal Malcolm Wilson (centre) and co-driver Julien Ingrassia (left)

Though his return to Citroen this year didn’t yield a seventh consecutive title, Ogier still performed admirably and picked up three rally wins.

The 36-year-old has said that 2020 will be his final season in the championship, but whatever happens next year he will be remembered as one of rally’s greatest drivers because of everything he has achieved this decade.

If Sebastien Ogier is your Racer of the Decade then make sure to vote for him on our Twitter page.

Voting opens at 8pm (GMT) on Saturday (Dec 21st) and will close at 10pm on Monday (Dec 23rd).

Published by James Casey

Absolute Motorsport Ltd Managing Director

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