Retired World Rally Driver Ogier Still Winning, Getting Fined



A part of all of us aspires to live like Sebastien Ogier. Show up, collect a trophy and go home. The 38-year-old Frenchman retired from international rallying at the end of 2021 after securing his eighth World Rally Championship. In 2022, Ogier competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship with the Richard Mille LMP2 team. Though, he dropped out after competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ogier told, “Even though it was announced differently, we were always clear with the team that I would just do Le Mans and the two previous races to prepare for it. I didn’t want to do the full championship.”

Why did Ogier not want to compete in the entire championship? The reigning World Rally Champion was going to return to the WRC on a part-time basis. The retired Sebastien Ogier agreed to a six-round deal with Toyota for the 13-rally WRC season. Ogier nearly won the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo, but a puncture on the penultimate stage cost him the victory. Though, he finally got his elusive 55th WRC win last weekend, as well as a four-figure fine. Ogier is still Ogier.

Sebastien Ogier won the Catalunya Rally de España by 16.4 seconds over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville. His victory, along with a third-place finish from his teammate and recently-crowned World Champion Kalle Rovanperä, secured the manufacturers’ championship for Toyota. After his win, Ogier succinctly explained why he’s still in the WRC, “There’s really nothing for me to prove. I love the competition against the guys like Ott [Tänak], Thierry [Neuville] and Kalle – it’s always a big fight and this one was really intense. I like that, to win this way is really nice.”

However, Ogier picked up a €1,500 ($1,482) fine for what he did on the way to the podium. As he rolled into the podium approach, Ogier let loose and started spinning donuts with his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1. It seems strange that Ogier picked up a fine for the impromptu celebration because he has done it in the past. The reasoning was that the area around the podium wasn’t a designated “exhibition driving” area, meaning that it wasn’t laid out in a way to protect spectators from a potential incident.

Doing donuts is probably the tamest thing the eight-time world champion has done to get a fine in his career. For example, he fled the police after colliding with a road car during the 2021 Rally Croatia. In Spain, Ogier wasn’t even able to attend the meeting with the stewards. According to DirtFish, Toyota’s team manager explained to officials that Ogier thought the area was safe because the car ahead of him did a start launch.

Ogier will have one more rally this year to pick up another win and maybe a fine, at next month’s season-ending Rally Japan. Despite only competing in half of the rallies run, Ogier currently sits sixth in the World Rally Championship standings, ahead of three full-time drivers.

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