Ogier set to announce circuit and WRC 2022 plans in February

Sebastien Ogier says he should be in a position to confirm his circuit racing and World Rally Championship plans next month.

Ogier set to announce circuit and WRC 2022 plans in February

The newly crowned eight-time WRC champion will scale back his rally commitments to four or five rallies for Toyota this year, meaning he won’t defend his title as rallying’s top tier enters a new hybrid Rally1 era this season.

Ogier revealed last year that he wishes to dovetail a partial rally programme in Toyota’s third GR Yaris alongside possible outings in the World Endurance Championship, with the ultimate goal to compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Frenchman drove Toyota’s GR010 Hybrid Hypercar in last November’s post-season WEC rookie test in Bahrain, but it appears an LMP2 programme appears his most likely option, with Toyota unlikely to run third WEC entry at Le Mans.

Currently, Ogier is only confirmed to contest this weekend’s WRC season opener in Monte Carlo with his plans beyond that yet to be clarified.

Speaking in the first press conference of the 2022 season, the 38-year-old confirmed that discussions regarding his plans this year are continuing with an announcement expected at the beginning of February.

Ogier hinted that an outing at Le Mans could feature in those, while saying that Rally Portugal in May is also on his list for potential 2022 WRC events.

“We have been discussing a bit with the team but it is not completely clear yet, but soon I will be able to announce,” said Ogier.

“I can already say that after this rally it will be a good break for me as everybody knows I was really looking for that and I didn’t really have a break [after Rally Monza] as at the end of last year we went straight into Monte Carlo, so the plan is still the same, to do maybe something like four or five rallies, and also very soon I will be able to announce my circuit racing plan for the year.

“[Rally] Portugal is always in my mind and you know I have a special relationship with Portugal. I can say it is on the potential list for this season.”

When asked about his WEC aspirations, he added: “I’m working on a plan right now and I think very soon, the beginning of February you will hear about it. There is some work going on to be already at Le Mans this year.”

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Toyota WRC boss Jari-Matti Latvala plans to sit down with Ogier after this weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally to discuss his future, but expects Esapekka Lappi to compete in the majority of this year’s WRC events in the third GR Yaris.

“I really hope we can clarify it,” said Latvala.

“I hope to have a discussion with him after the rally and decide what he is going to do in the future.

“He said to me at Monza that at the end of the year he was very tired and wanted to have a holiday and recover and then he will decide what he will do.

“Our plan is, more of our events will be done by Esapekka and less than half with Seb.”

Ogier is set to begin his partial WRC campaign on Thursday as he attempts to claim a ninth win in Monte Carlo.

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