With four world titles to his name, Sébastien Ogier is one of rallying’s most talented and dedicated sportsmen. Trained as both a mechanic and a ski instructor, it’s behind the wheel where Ogier truly shines and has become one of the most successful competitors in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship.
The Frenchmen got his break after winning the FFSA’s Rallye Jeunes series in 2005. Designed to give France’s most talented up-and-coming youngsters a shot at the big time, Ogier was quickly recognised and truly made the most of the opportunity.
Making his WRC debut at the 2008 edition of Rally Mexico, the Frenchman was an instant victor – winning the J-WRC class and securing a highly impressive eighth place overall. Winning the J-WRC Championship that year, it wasn’t long before Ogier was behind the wheel of a top-specification world rally car – piloting the Citroen C4 WRC at Wales Rally GB the same year.
Joining the Citroen Junior team in 2009, the Frenchman secured his first podium with second place at the Acropolis Rally of Greece and the first of many victories soon followed.
Stepping up to the main Citroen team in 2010, six podiums included two outright victories at both the Vodafone Rally de Portugal and the Rally of Japan.
A further five victories followed in 2011 before a career switch to Volkswagen Motorsport saw the Frenchman take a year out to develop the Volkswagen Polo R and compete in selected events behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia S2000 throughout the 2012 season.
Making his debut with the Volkswagen squad in 2013, Ogier claimed four drivers’ titles and increased his tally of victories to an impressive 38.
This year, the formidable Frenchman joins forces with the M-Sport World Rally Team, piloting the all-new Ford Fiesta WRC throughout the 2017 season.
When it comes to co-drivers, Julien Ingrassia is one of the most talented guys out there. Organised and dedicated, the Frenchman has secured four consecutive championship titles and remains a force to be reckoned with alongside Sébastien Ogier in the FIA World Rally Championship.
The Frenchman got a taste for co-driving in his homeland in 2002 and soon became a regular at regional events. In 2006, he joined forces with Ogier and the pairing has been inseparable ever since.
Making his WRC debut in 2008, the Frenchman aided his compatriot to the championship laurels at their first and only outing in the Junior World Rally Championship, and the top-flight soon beckoned.
Throughout their long and successful partnership, the pairing has secured 38 victories and 56 podiums for two prestigious manufacturer teams. Joining M-Sport’s privateer squad for the 2017 season, the Frenchman will be looking to add to his impressive resume with the all-new Ford Fiesta WRC.
Rallying runs in the blood for Ott Tänak whose father competed at national level from 1998 to 2003. His father’s interest clearly made a lasting impression and Tänak has since developed into one of Estonia’s leading talents.
Having competed in junior rallycross events, the Estonian made the transition to rallying in 2004; mentored by former Ford driver Markko Märtin who aided his compatriot’s progression to the very highest level of world rallying.
In 2009, Tänak was discovered by Malcolm Wilson when taking to the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R2 at the car’s first global tour. Impressed by the Estonian’s natural speed and ability, Wilson signed Tänak for a full development programme with his Cumbrian team.
In 2011, the Estonian made his debut with the Ford Fiesta S2000. Competing in the Super 20000 World Rally Championship (S-WRC), he racked up five podium finishes and three victories – ushering in his debut at the sport’s highest level.
Piloting the Ford Fiesta RS WRC for the M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team at Wales Rally GB and the Ford World Rally Team at Rallye du Var, sixth and second places warranted a full season at the top and the Estonian contested all 13 rounds of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship.
His pace at the highest level was clear to see. Setting a string of fastest times, the Estonian proved he had the speed to challenge the world’s best and secured a maiden podium at Rally Italia Sardegna.
Taking a year out in 2013, Tänak matured as a driver and was soon back behind the wheel of the top-specification Fiesta full-time in 2015.
In 2016, he narrowly missed out on a maiden victory when a stunning display of speed was cut short by a puncture on the penultimate stage of Rally Poland.
Taking to the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC throughout the 2017 season, Tänak will be looking to add to his four podium finishes as he hunts down an elusive first victory at the sport’s highest level.
One half of a determined new partnership, Martin Järveoja will make his debut at rallying’s highest league this year when he teams up with fellow Estonian Ott Tänak and the Ford Fiesta WRC.
Having started his co-driving career with the Blue Oval in 2006, Järveoja was a regular on the Estonian rally scene and partnered Tänak at a number of events when he took a year out from the world stage in 2013.
A determined and ambitious individual, it wasn’t long before Järveoja made his own debut on the world stage – calling the notes for Karl Kruuda as the pairing contested the 2010 Junior World Rally Championship.
Progressing to four-wheel-drive machinery the pairing claimed the top spoils in the WRC’s premier support series at the 2011 edition of both Rally Sweden and Rally Finland.
Now, Järveoja takes another step in his career and will be keen to make an impact as he debuts at rallying’s highest level.