Ogier feels he's "not a contender" for Le Mans LMP2 win

Rallying legend Sebastien Ogier admits his Richard Mille Racing team is realistically "not a contender for victory" in the LMP2 class on his Le Mans 24 Hours debut.

Sebastien Ogier, Richard Mille Racing Team

Ogier is tackling the French endurance classic for the first time this year as part of a full FIA World Endurance Championship campaign following the conclusion of a full-time career in the WRC that yielded eight titles.

However, the 38-year-old feels that he and his teammates in the Richard Mille Oreca 07-Gibson, Charles Milesi and Lilou Wadoux, are unlikely to be in the mix for the class win in a stacked 27-car LMP2 field.

"The first two rounds of the season were for us rehearsal races with the goal of reaching another level of performance," said Ogier.

"We are keeping our head about us because we know we are not a contender for victory. Our goal is not to be far behind. All the team members want to give us the best possible equipment in order to progress."

However, Ogier is still hoping to prove himself for a potential future outing with Toyota, the marque with which he claimed his final two WRC titles in 2020-21, having already tested the GR010 Hybrid on multiple occasions.

He added: "I'm here to get ahead in the LMP2 class and, if I'm good enough, why not drive in Hypercar in the future with Toyota?"

Ogier, Wadoux and Milesi's best finish in the WEC so far is eighth at Spa

Ogier, Wadoux and Milesi's best finish in the WEC so far is eighth at Spa

Wadoux is also a Le Mans rookie, and the only female in a team that ran an all-female line-up of Tatiana Calderon, Sophia Floersch and Beitske Visser for its first two participations at La Sarthe in 2020 and '21.

"I only drove there in a support race last year, so I’m not sure what to expect but I’m looking forward to the experience," said Wadoux, who won the Porsche Sprint Challenge support event last year.

"The aim will be to avoid problems to enjoy and finish the race, and above all else, put everything together to show our true potential."

Milesi, who was part of the LMP2-winning line-up last year with the WRT squad alongside Robin Frijns and Ferdinand Habsburg, struck a more optimistic note for Richard Mille's chances than his teammates.

"As I found out last year, anything is possible, and nothing is over until the chequered flag," said Milesi in reference to last year's dramatic conclusion to the LMP2 contest that saw the sister WRT car lose the win on the last lap. "All surprises are possible on this unique circuit.

"The most important thing will be to remain humble and clear-minded throughout this long week. This track is unforgiving in places, and we will have to avoid the pitfalls, including those caused by the traffic or during the night.

"We must not get carried away, but I sincerely believe we have a real chance!"

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