Ogier open to lower-level endurance programme to prepare for Le Mans bid

Seven-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier says he would consider competing in the lower ranks of endurance racing next year to prepare for a future Le Mans 24 Hours bid.

Ogier open to lower-level endurance programme to prepare for Le Mans bid

As previously reported by Autosport, Ogier is set to test Toyota’s Le Mans Hypercar in the World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain as he prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time rallying career.

The Frenchman has already ruled out contesting a full WRC campaign in 2022, although he is expected to contest a limited number of events at the wheel of a hybrid-powered Toyota GR Yaris alongside any WEC commitments.

A full-time Toyota WEC seat for Ogier in 2022 appears unlikely at this stage, as does the prospect of the Japanese marque running a third GR010 Hybrid at Le Mans.

However, when asked for the latest on his plans ahead of this weekend’s Rally Finland, Ogier said racing in a lower category may also be an option.

This wouldn’t be without precedent as Toyota supported Super GT champion Kenta Yamashita to contest the full 2019-20 WEC season for LMP2 team High Class Racing.

Sebastien Ogier, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM

Sebastien Ogier, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM

Photo by: James Gasperotti / Motorsport Images

“I think I will be open to make any step to progress if it’s needed,” said Ogier, who has limited circuit racing experience in the DTM and Porsche Supercup. “I would totally understand that it would take time.

“I don’t expect to jump in this WEC car and be the best, you have to be realistic.

“For sure it’s quite different to what I have done so far, but I think this first test [in Bahrain] will give us an idea about it and we will discuss with the team what’s the best plan for me and best plan for all of us, for the team.”

Ahead of the WEC rookie test on 7 November, which follows a day on from the season-ending Bahrain 8 Hours, Ogier is set to undertake two days in the Toyota simulator in Cologne.

Ogier underlined that he won’t make any decision on the make-up of his 2022 WRC programme until he knows what his options are to race in the WEC next season.

“I want to see with my first test with the WEC car [in Bahrain] and see the amount of work I still have to do to have maybe a chance of a programme in this category, and at least see what 2022 is like in terms of a WEC programme for me, and then after that maybe make a clearer plan about WRC,” he said.

“But the truth is we right now anyway don’t have much of a calendar for WRC next year, so that’s also something I will need to make some plan [for].”

shares
comments

Related video

Le Mans LMP2 winner Milesi to get Toyota WEC test chance in Bahrain
Previous article

Le Mans LMP2 winner Milesi to get Toyota WEC test chance in Bahrain

Next article

Lynn to join Ganassi Cadillac IMSA line-up, with view to '23 WEC deal

Lynn to join Ganassi Cadillac IMSA line-up, with view to '23 WEC deal
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Plus

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination Plus

Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination

OPINION: Peugeot will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar that has ignored design conventions by eschewing a rear wing. Its distinctive look will help sportscar racing appeal to fresh audiences as a new golden era is ushered in

WEC
Jul 7, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022