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WRC Rally Mexico

Ogier adds Croatia to partial 2023 WRC programme

Sebastien Ogier has announced plans to contest the next round of the World Rally Championship in Croatia as part of his partial 2023 campaign with Toyota.

Winners Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

The eight-time world champion leads the WRC championship standings after scoring a dominant record-breaking seventh victory in Mexico last weekend.

Victory in Mexico followed a record ninth Monte Carlo win at the season opener in January. The two wins have now lifted the part-timer to the top of the championship standings, three points ahead of Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville despite competing in only two of the three 2023 events to date.

Ogier’s 2023 plans beyond Mexico had yet to be officially confirmed although it is anticipated the 39-year-old will participate in as many as seven rallies this year, as he did in 2022.

However, speaking in a stage end interview after crossing the finish line in Mexico, Ogier let slip that he will be in action at Rally Croatia, which will host the fourth round of the championship from 20-23 April.

Ogier later revealed that those plans played a role in his push to win the powerstage in Mexico to ensure he headed to the asphalt event with the best possible road position.

“That was one of the reasons why I wanted to score some points in the powerstage as before the at stage we were all extremely tight in the championship," said Ogier, who won the WRC’s first visit to Croatia in 2021.

“As I knew I was going to do Croatia then, it made sense to have the best starting position again and that was another reason to get some points in the powerstage.

“I think this one came about after a discussion with the team and with my current form on tarmac and we decided that could be a new event where I could help the team. It was not necessarily my choice but l’m happy to do it.”

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Reflecting on the record Mexico victory, that joins triumphs in 2013-2015 and 2018-2020, Ogier added: “It feels great. It is always difficult in this moment as the racers are always so intense and then you cross the finish line and everything goes a little bit down as you are so exhausted, but obviously I’m super happy. I’m super happy for the team.

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“We came here with a clear goal to win this rally and we did a faultless weekend with great pace and great management when it was required as well.

“I can be satisfied and I even managed to get maximum points on the powerstage. I couldn't ask for more.”

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