You can be intermittent in the show and not be satisfied with a role of extra. Engaged part-time (for six of the thirteen rounds) by Toyota in order to give himself a breather after fifteen years of traveling the world and chasing success, Sébastien Ogier was not chasing a ninth world title this year. In the absence of glory, he sought pleasure and adrenaline.
This Sunday, by bringing back the Rally of Catalonia for the fourth time in his career (after 2013, 2014 and 2016 in the colors of Volkswagen), the Frenchman offered himself as a bonus the satisfaction of satisfying his thirst for victories and canceled that he always masters his art, even when the supreme stake is no longer there. “We already deserved the victory in Monte-Carlo and it was a bit hard to accept (victim of a puncture in the penultimate special, he finished second behind Loeb)especially for Benji (Benjamin Veillas, co-pilot son) »reminded Ogier on arrival.
In a fight with Thierry Neuville, winner of the last two editions, on the first four stages of the rally, Ogier made the difference as soon as his position on the road was no longer a handicap. After repelling the threat from the Belgian driver, he disgusted his teammate and new world champion Kalle Rovanperä, to offer himself with a margin of 16”4 the 55th victory of his career (the first for Benjamin Veillas), which allows Toyota to clinch a second consecutive constructors’ title.
Slowed down by a puncture in the second special of the day, Rovanperä saw second place slip away in favor of Neuville, who signed his fourth podium of the season. The Belgian’s teammates at Hyundai, Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo, complete the Top 5.
Eighth, Adrien Fourmaux resurfaced after a nightmarish season. The Northerner finished top of an M-Sport team once again missed out with Greensmith’s crash on Saturday morning and Breen’s fault on Sunday, which relegated him to ninth position. Having participated in only five rallies, including a clean score in Portugal, Ogier has more points than the Irishman in the Championship! Pierre-Louis Loubet completes the Top 10 for his last appearance this season. The others have an appointment in Japan for the last round, next month.