The transition from one era to another was pretty immediate. There was no time to wonder who might pick up Sebastien Loeb's mantle as World Rallying's benchmark.
The storming run to the 2008 Junior title, leading an icy Rally GB on his World Rally Car debut that year, rattling Loeb when they were Citroen team-mates in 2010-11... all the evidence was there that Sebastien Ogier had the potential to step straight into Loeb's shoes.
The only question mark was whether Volkswagen, in its first season back with the Polo R WRC, would be ready to beat the established machinery of Citroen and Ford. And that answer didn't take long to come either. That full year of preparation for Ogier and VW had clearly been used wisely.
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David Evans is the rallies editor of Autosport and Motorsport News. A successful rally driving father ensured an early introduction to motorsport and, fascinated as he was by rallying, the fourth estate was of equal interest. Having read (or at least looked at the pictures) from the age of two, he joined <i>Motoring News</i> in 1996 and later moved to Autosport in 2002.@davidevansrally More features by David Evans
Matt Beer started freelancing for Autosport.com in the first week of its existence in 1999, and spent the next decade-and-a-half dovetailing increasing amounts of time contributing to it with UK national reporting, driver and team PR, freelance for organisations including ITV, BMW, Autocourse and the FIA Institute and a parallel career co-managing award-winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatres.
He stopped being stubborn and became Autosport.com's deputy editor in April 2014. Matt also oversees Haymarket's talent development programme for emerging motorsport writers and escapes to cover Formula Ford 1600 races whenever possible.