Sebastien Ogier has revealed that he will contest a full World Rally
Championship programme in 2012, despite the fact that Volkswagen isn't planning to enter the series until 2013.
Ogier signed a deal to become VW's first confirmed driver earlier this week after leaving Citroen
[See separate story HERE
], with the Frenchman set to play a vital role in the development of the Polo WRC ahead of its competition debut.
Alongside that development work, Ogier has now confirmed he will take part in the full WRC schedule at the wheel of a Super 2000-spec Skoda Fabia, with the possibility that he may also compete in the Polo before the end of 2012.
“There's a great deal of work to be done,” he told Best-Of-RallyLive
. “I think they have planned something like 20 weeks of testing. I will also take part in the entire WRC in a Skoda Fabia S2000.
“It's all about working for the future. It's a case of taking one step back to make two steps forward. Taking part in the 2012 WRC will enable me to stay match fit and familiarise myself with those events that I don't know so well. The test work will help me follow the Polo's development from A to Z. That's a very exciting challenge. I'm not ruling out the possibility of competing in the Polo towards the end of the year if the team believes we are sufficiently ready.”
Ogier's deal to join Volkswagen came despite many people expecting him to move to Ford in what would effectively have been a job swap with Mikko Hirvonen, but the man who finished third in the standings this season insisted that VW had quickly emerged as the best option.
“We looked at both opportunities,” he said. “However, Ford's future in the sport wasn't as certain as that of VW. When I added together all the plusses and minuses, Volkswagen emerged as the best choice. Carlos Sainz also put pressure on me and his arguments finally won me over.”