Sebastien Ogier has enjoyed a strong season at M-Sport after VW’s departure from the competition in 2016 left the driver without a team. With eight podium finishes out of 11 events so far this season, the Frenchman has proved his talents across multiple surfaces in a new car for 2017. Now there are just two events left this year, and Ogier has made no secret he hopes to secure both his own Drivers’ Championship title as well as M-Sport’s Manufacturers’ Championship title in Wales. In a press release on his official website, the driver stated “The target is clear: try to make the final step to secure both titles on the next rally."
Ott Tanak was possibly the driver least expected to sit in second in the Drivers’ Championship heading into the penultimate round of the 2017 championship. The Estonian had never won a WRC round prior to 2017 and has gone from strength to strength this year. He now has two Rally wins under his belt (Sardinia and Germany) and, after Neuville’s retirement in Spain, finds himself right behind teammate Ogier and one point clear of the Belgian.
Thierry Neuville has been Hyundai’s leading driver this year, after a rocky start transformed into a run of strong finishes for the majority of the season. Going into Spain, the Belgian was ready to take the title fight to Ogier but was unfortunately forced to retire and his grip on the top of the leaderboard took a hit that the driver is unlikely to recover from. Over the past four years at Rally GB, Neuville has secured two third-place finishes, one fourth-place finish and one retirement.
Previous Wales Rally GB Podiums
|1st||Sebastien Ogier||Sebastien Ogier||Sebastien Ogier||Sebastien Ogier|
|2nd||Ott Tanak||Kris Meeke||Mikko Hirvonen||Jari-Matti Latvala|
|3rd||Thierry Neuville||Andreas Mikkelsen||Mads Ostberg||Thierry Neuville|
The 2018 season is just around the corner, and with only Hyundai and Toyota Gazoo Racing’s driver line-ups fully confirmed for the year, drivers are going to be looking to impress potential employers in the remaining two rounds of 2017. Following four victories out of the last four in Wales, combined with his championship boost in Spain, Sebastien Ogier will undoubtedly make a push this time around to make it five out of five, while also securing his fifth drivers’ title and M-Sport’s manufacturers' crown.
Sports.net’s Top Tip:
Sebastien Ogier to finish ahead of Thierry Neuville at Wales Rally GB.