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Sebastien Ogier retired from full-time World Championship competition at the end of the 2021 season, announcing a career that has included eight championships pursuing a future in sports cars. Sebastien Loeb made a similar choice back in 2012 after winning nine WRC championships. Last year, Loeb led the pair to a 2-1 result in the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally as a part-time driver to give Ogier the all-time lead in victories at the century-old rally. That year, with Loeb busy with rally-raid scheduling conflicts, Ogier returned the favor.
Ogier led Toyota from wire to wire, taking a massive lead on Friday and ultimately holding on to an 18-second win over 2022 WRC Champion and Toyota teammate Kalle Rovanperä. While the win is Ogier’s 56th at WRC level, it is the first for his co-driver Vincent Landais.
Those 56 wins came from 175 starts. For comparison, Loeb has won 80 times in 184 starts. The two have 19 championships and 19 victories at that event alone, and together they’ve won all but the Monte Carlo Rally victory from 2012 to present. While both are officially retired, Ogier will continue to drive select rallies for Toyota. Loeb was supposed to miss Monte Carlo no matter what happened to a manufacturer, though an expected deal with Ford is not really committed yet and could do without WRC entries in 2023. Ogier is 39 while Loeb is 48 years old.