Talk to Sébastien Ogier and it’s clear that his favourite thing of all is winning. He’s fast, he’s French, he drives a Red Bull-backed Citroën and he’s called Sébastien… Does the story sound familiar so far?
Having started off as Sébastien Loeb’s protégé when he burst onto the international scene in 2008 on the Junior World Rally Championship, the 27-year-old is now Loeb’s rival. He lines up alongside the seven-time World Champion in the Citroën factory team this year and, so far, he’s had the upper hand, finishing fourth to Loeb’s sixth on the season-opener in Sweden.
Ogier’s already got two world rally wins under his belt, in Portugal and Japan last year, and he’s looking to add to that total in 2011. He’s not ruling out a crack at the title either, but what are the other things he likes - aside from the prospect of driving his Citroën DS3 WRC flat-out over the roads of Rally Mexico for the next three days?
“It’s not a meal, but I’m going to go for Tourtons du Champsaur. They’re hard to describe, but they come from my home region around Gap, in the mountains of southern France. They’re a bit like deep-fried apple doughnuts and they’re great. I’m not sure my dietician would necessarily agree, but he’s not listening at the moment.”
Favourite holiday destination?
“I went to New Zealand for the first time last year and before the rally I spent some time going all over the North Island. I went everywhere and I thought that the country was really fantastic: I’d never seen anything like it before. Rally New Zealand’s not on the World Championship calendar this year, but I’m definitely going to go back to see a bit more of the country.”
'I had a pedal tractor. I took the chain off it, found the biggest hill - and you can imagine the rest'
Favourite toy as a child?
"Unsurprisingly, it was car-related. When I was small, I had a pedal car that was basically a plastic tractor. I painted it up with my own livery, took the chain off it, found the biggest hill - and you can imagine the rest. That’s probably how I had my first accident.”
Favourite subject at school?
“Maths. I did OK at school but I was nothing special. I had a bit of a talent for sums though and I always liked geography too.”
Least favourite subject?
“I was no good at languages, which I really regret now that I’m travelling the world. Not just foreign languages, but I wasn’t any good at French either. I was definitely more about sciences than arts.”
Favourite career moment?
“I really feel that I’m lucky because I’ve enjoyed so many fantastic moments. But if I had to choose one I think it would be my first world rally win in Portugal last year with the Citroën C4 WRC - because it was such a good fight over all three days. Winning the Junior World Rally Championship in 2008 was an amazing memory too. But I’d like to think that the best ones are still to come.”
- Sébastien Ogier's profile page
- Sébastien Loeb's profile page
- WRC Mexico 2011 event page
- Official site of the WRC