WRC legends Ogier, Loeb eyeing more outings in 2022

World Rally Championship legends Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb have set their sights on more WRC events this season following a challenging Safari Rally.

WRC legends Ogier, Loeb eyeing more outings in 2022

Ogier and Loeb rejoined the WRC with their respective Toyota and M-Sport Ford teams for their third starts of a partial campaign this season in Kenya last weekend.

Both endured their fair share of misfortune tackling Kenya’s unique tough gravel roads, with Ogier leading the rally until a puncture late on Friday cost him two minutes, which dropped last year’s Safari winner to fourth where he remained for the duration, completing a Toyota 1-2-3-4 headed by Kalle Rovanpera.

Twenty years on from his first Safari, Loeb claimed three stage wins overall and was in the fight for the podium places when an engine fire broke out on his Ford Puma after Stage 4. A depleted battery forced him into retirement before joining the rally to finish eighth overall.

However, it is likely the pair will compete again in the WRC this year, with Ogier already eyeing up outings in New Zealand and Japan, following confirmation he won’t contest the full World Endurance Championship for LMP2 squad Richard Mille Racing.

It had appeared unlikely Ogier would enter the WRC season finale in Japan (10-13 November) as it clashed with the WEC's final round in Bahrain.

“It is no secret that I wish to go to New Zealand and I want to go to Japan for the team, so these two are on the list,” Ogier told Autosport.

“Like we always say, we will keep the door open to discuss with the team and analyse the situation. At the moment my plan is to have a relaxed summer and these two [events] should be on the list for me."

Sebastien Loeb, Isabelle Galmiche, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Sebastien Loeb, Isabelle Galmiche, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Reflecting on finishing fourth at the Safari Rally, he said: “I enjoyed the experience here [in Kenya].

“Every time I come I want to enjoy myself and fight for the top position. After the puncture there was no real chance to fight for the win and even for the podium. I reached the intended target after that.”

Nine-time world champion Loeb made a triumphant return to the WRC at Monte Carlo in January followed by an outing in Portugal in May, before heading to Kenya.

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The 48-year-old, who is juggling commitments in Extreme E and the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, is understood to be considering another WRC outing at the Acropolis Rally in Greece (8-11 September).

Loeb stated that the gravel event would “maybe” be an option, and has also hinted that he would like contest the tarmac round in Spain, but the event currently clashes with the Andalucia Rally FIA World Rally-Raid Championship round which last month has been moved and now clashes with the WRC round in the same country.

“I still have to adjust the calendar, it is quite tricky at this time,” he added. “I also wanted to maybe go to Spain but there is a cross country rally at the same time, so we will have to adjust the calendar and see.”

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