“Everyone knows that competing at Le Mans is one of my dreams for the future," explains Sébastien Ogier, six-time World Rally Champion and now a driver for Toyota Gazoo Racing in the WRC. The French driver spent two days testing the simulator of the Toyota TS050 Hybrid that competes in the FIA WEC. A new experience that gave him a glimpse of what it is like to drive the LMP1 prototype, which runs in the premier class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the FIA WEC. "It wasn't easy to feel the limits of the car to start with, because it is a very different drive to a rally car. It’ll take a bit of time but I’m happy with my progress. I improved my speed from one session to the next. I was pleased about that," he says.
Sébastien Ogier also points out the similarities and differences with his approach to rally driving: “The only similarity with rally driving is that you aim to be as fast as possible. Ultimately, though, when you're a professional driver, that is the kind of challenge you love. In rallying, you have to adapt to new situations fast. That's what I've been trying to prove over the last couple of days. I think that if I get the chance to drive the real TS050 Hybrid one day, it’ll be even more exciting. The work with the engineer is quite similar but the way you use the data is a bit different. You go into a lot more detail because you repeat each corner several times, which is not the case in rallying where sometimes I just have to go with my instincts without really looking at the data.”
The 2020 WRC season was put on hold after the first three rounds due to the international health crisis, but the championship is set to resume on 4 September with Rally Estonia. "I'm looking forward to restarting the season and trying for more wins and another World Championship title. I hope that after that we can maybe think about the future and the 24 Hours of Le Mans," he ends.
BREAKING NEWS: THE 2020 24 HOURS OF LE MANS TO BE RACED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS