EXCLUSIVE: Ogier set to join Ford for 2012 WRC
- 12th September 2011, 10:11pm
Following Rally Germany, where Ogier was asked to slow down to let team-mate Sebastien Loeb win, only for the World Champion to puncture and drop behind Ogier, the younger Frenchman was again asked to slow down in Australia.
Ogier was ahead of Loeb on the final day, only to be directed by Citroen management to slow down so that his team-mate would finish 10th and secure a World Championship point, and to give Loeb a better road position on the final stage.
Loeb went on to win the Power Stage, collecting a bonus three World Championship points.
Sources close to Ogier, including his manager, Kim Vatanen (son of 1981 World Champion, Ari) were heard discussing the Frenchman's future on the final day of Rally Australia, as tension between the two Citroen drivers grew even more tense.
RallySport Magazine understands that a contract with Ford is already being drawn up, and that Ogier will walk away from his Citroen deal at the end of this season.
Ogier was touted as a future Ford driver during the 2010 season, and was reportedly offered 4 million Euro to switch camps, but Citroen matched the offer for 2011.
However, Ogier has become increasingly upset with playing second fiddle to Loeb.
A Ford team representative refused to comment when asked by RallySport Magazine about the team's possible new signing for 2012.
Fitting Ogier into the Ford squad won't be easy. Mikko Hirvonen's contract expires at the end of the 2011 season, but it is also understood that Ogier has also spoken to VW. However, like Loeb, he is reluctant to sign with the German make, who won't enter the World Rally Championship on a full time basis until 2013.
Despite reports that everything is rosy in the Citroen camp, the gulf between Loeb and Ogier is rapidly increasing, and it appears the young Frenchman has no option than to walk away from his lucrative Citroen deal.
- Full access
- Exclusive news
- Store & Tour discounts