Ogier pays tribute to retiring co-driver Ingrassia

Sebastien Ogier has paid tribute to long serving co-driver Julien Ingrassia following the announcement that the navigator will retire from the World Rally Championship at the end of the year.

Ingrassia and Ogier have enjoyed a 16-year partnership beginning in 2006, competing in the French championship, before making their WRC debut in 2008, winning the Junior WRC title that year driving a Citroen C2.

The duo moved up to the WRC's top tier with the Citroen Junior Team, winning their first rally in 2010 in Portugal and then finished third in the championship the following year.

It wasn't until a move to Volkswagen that sparked a period of dominance winning four consecutive world championships from 2013-2016 prior to the German manufacturer pulling out of the sport.

A move to M-Sport Ford brought another two world titles in 2017 and 2018 and a seventh arrived with Toyota in 2020 after a season with Citroen in 2019.

The pair have racked up 53 rally wins with two more events in Spain and Monza to complete their partnership, which could yet yield an eighth world title as the duo sit atop of the standings.

Following confirmation of his 2022 plans, Ogier will compete a partial WRC season next year with Toyota and will team up with Benjamin Veillas in the co-driver seat.

"Julien will end his career at the end of the year. I respect the decision 100%, while I will also ease up next year," said Ogier in a tribute to Ingrassia posted online.

"We often mention the qualities of WRC drivers, but the co-driver is essential and Julien has been a key part of our success.

"Since my first steps in rallying and for 16 years, Julien has been there, We built up everything together, improved together, discovered the WRC and made our dreams come true…

"We reached more than we dared to dream, winning seven world champions titles so far! Now we have two rallies to finish in style.

"Julien, to me there is no doubt: you are the best co-driver out there. Who knows what my career would have been without you?

"A very big thank you for everything, I know what I owe you and it will not be possible to replace you. I wish you all the best for the future, enjoy life."

Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: Toyota Racing

While Ogier is yet to reveal the rallies he will contest next year, it is likely the season-opening Monte Carlo rally will be on his wish list.

As a result, the Frenchman is not expected to test Toyota's all-new hybrid Yaris until the car is ready for tarmac testing.

"It is clear we are preparing four cars for Monte," said Toyota WRC boss Jari-Matti Latvala.

"I don't want Seb to drive a car that is not 100% ready yet. We want to give him a car that is very close to the rally spec so he doesn't get the wrong impression. For me that is very important."

shares
comments

Related video

Toyota confirms 2022 WRC line-up with Lappi sharing Ogier car

Previous article

Toyota confirms 2022 WRC line-up with Lappi sharing Ogier car

Next article

Five Hyundai WRC entries set for Rally Spain as Solans replaces Loubet

Five Hyundai WRC entries set for Rally Spain as Solans replaces Loubet
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Prime

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Prime

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up.

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Prime

Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021