Last weekend was Sébastien Ogier’s 176th World Rally Championship start. And his 57th outright WRC win.
This picture was his first World Rally Championship start. And his first Junior WRC win.
It’s little wonder that Ogier has such an affinity with México. In 2008, he came, he saw and he conquered. And he hasn’t really stopped conquering since.
Seeded eighth in a nine-strong Junior WRC field, nobody saw Ogier coming in León a decade and a half ago. Nobody.
But the moment he set off into the rally-opening Alfaro stage on Friday February 29, 2008, he was the class of the field. His FFSA-backed Citroën C2 was four seconds up on Michal Kościuszko. That was as close as anybody would get.
By the end of the day, he’d won every stage and built a lead of close to 40 seconds.
Two days later and he was two minutes ahead of everybody on the road and… eighth overall.
That made him the first ever Junior WRC driver to score an outright world championship point.
To demonstrate such maturity on your maiden WRC outing was astonishing – but to be able to blend that with the speed to boss an experienced field of rivals was a demonstration of what was to come.
Three days on from his latest Méxican win, it’s with the help of this lovely Girardo Archive shot that we remember his first Méxican wave.