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WRC Toyota december tests

Ogier tests Toyota 2022 WRC Rally1 Yaris for first time

Sebastien Ogier has jumped behind the wheel of Toyota’s 2022 World Rally Championship challenger for the first time.

Sebastien Ogier, Benjamin Veillas, Toyota Yaris Rally1

The newly crowned eight-time world champion has teamed up with the Japanese marque for a two-day test, beginning today (Saturday) in France.

Ogier was set to test the all-new Rally1 hybrid GR Yaris for the first time last month but the outing in France was abandoned and rescheduled after team-mate Elfyn Evans suffered a crash, that required the Yaris to undergo repairs away from the test.

The Frenchman is expected to drive the Yaris on Saturday and Sunday to acclimatise to the new mandatory hybrid systems adopted by the cars following the introduction of new Rally1 regulations next year.

At this stage, Ogier is only set to contest the 2022 Monte Carlo Rally season opener in January as part of a partial campaign next year, driving Toyota’s third entry, which he will share with Esapekka Lappi.

The 37-year-old has been coy on his 2022 plans admitting following victory in last month’s title decided at Rally Monza that he would prefer to have a break from motorsport.

Sebastien Ogier, Benjamin Veillas, Toyota Yaris Rally1

Sebastien Ogier, Benjamin Veillas, Toyota Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Julien Perez Alonso

Ogier is however keen to embark on a circuit racing career, with contesting the Le Mans 24 Hours high on the list of his priorities.

“Right now I feel I would prefer to have a full break and stop to really enjoy the end of the year before jumping into preparation for next year," said Ogier following the title success.

“I don’t really feel for it right now, but I’m sure I will get a bit more fuel in the tank to go forward.

“Let’s see what the future brings to my life. I feel I need this break and time for myself and try to build some more motivation to do some more motorsport again.”

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While Toyota is back in action with its 2022 WRC car, rivals Hyundai are set to resume its testing programme with its new i20 Rally1 challenger next week.

Thierry Neuville is set pilot the car at Hyundai’s Germany test base just two weeks after emerging unscathed from a significant crash that curtailed testing in France.

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