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Ogier: ‘Nothing to prove, nothing to lose’ in WRC after M-Sport move

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Four-time FIA World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Ogier says he has “nothing to prove” and “nothing to lose” following his move to the Ford M-Sport operation for the 2017 season.

Ogier has won the last four drivers’ championships with Volkswagen, but was left without a seat for 2017 when the German marque announced its immediate withdrawal from rallying at the end of 2016.

Ogier was subject to serious interest from both Citroen and Toyota before ultimately signing with M-Sport after testing the Fiesta car that will be fielded next year.

“It is never easy to find a solution, especially with this timing,” Ogier told redbull.com.

“For sure we had some rough weeks where we needed to think about all the options we had and try to make the best choice out of it.

“What motivated me to go [with M-Sport] was definitely the passion that I felt in this team and the motivation they had to try and have us on board. I had a chance to try the car before signing and I immediately felt its potential.

“Of course it’s going to be difficult. We have very little time to adapt to it and try to make it more suitable to us, so we will probably have a difficult start to the season. But at least it’s a motivating challenge and we will give our best.”

Ogier is refusing to make any firm predictions for his title defense in 2017, but does not feel that he has to live up to any expectations after winning four world titles.

“It’s a bit early to know what we will be able to achieve,” Ogier said.

“I have achieved a lot these last [four] years, and I feel that I’m in a position where I have nothing to lose. I have nothing to prove any more and I will try my best.

“It’s definitely a good challenge to try to bring this team back to success after many years of struggle.”

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.