Joining the Richard Mille Racing team in their revamped 2022 driver line up, eight-time World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Ogier will make his FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans debut this season.
The Richard Mille team joined WEC as a full time entry last year, competing in all eight rounds with an all-female line up after joining the series at sporadic races in 2020 as part of their European Le Mans Series campaign. Their best result of the season was sixth in class, achieved at the 8 Hours of Portimao and the 6 Hours of Bahrain. For their second year as a full season LMP2 entry, the team has decided to exchange their all female crew in favour of a diverse range of talents from the world of motorsport.
Hot of the heels of establishing himself as one of the greatest rally drivers of all time, Ogier has come to Richard Mille and the WEC looking for a fresh challenge and to prove his talents in a new discipline of racing. Having been a partner of the Richard Mille brand since 2016, the synergy of Ogier’s debut fits perfectly in line with the new direction the team are looking to go this season, attempting to establish themselves as front runners in LMP2.
“I know it’s a big challenge, but I have been looking for a programme that motivates me more than the easy option.” Ogier said in the team’s press release, announcing his new career direction. “Up until now, I have focused on my rally career, but it has been on my mind for a long time that endurance racing could be a good challenge.
“All drivers tend to be a bit self-centered, but there comes a time you want to share more when you are lucky enough to have had a successful career. LMP2 is a fantastic category and the best way for me to reach the highest level of endurance racing and improve in this discipline.
“I am a novice for sure, but I want to enjoy myself while assessing what’s possible and seeing how close I can get to the best. This adventure is enticing, but I am aware that I have a lot to learn and a lot of experience to gain.
“I have always had a good capacity to adapt in rallying, so I hope that this will also be true on race tracks.”
As the least experience sports car driver in the team’s new line up, Ogier will be joined by Charles Milesi, who made his full season WEC debut in 2021 and took the LMP2 Driver’s Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans class victory with Team WRT in his rookie season, and fellow WEC debutant graduating from saloon and GT racing in the Alpine Elf Europa Cup, Lilou Wadoux.
“All three have the perfect approach, an excellent mindset and a willingness to work together. For us, this promises to be a rich year in sporting and emotions.” added Philippe Sinault, Signatech Director and Team Manager.
The move from a full female team to mixed gender is part of Richard Mille’s next push to have female drivers more established and welcomed into motorsport, according to Amanda Mille: “It was important for us to start with an all-female team to make our intentions known, compel people to think and challenge reputations. However, all the female drivers say they want more inclusivity by finding their place in mixed teams.
“Their dream comes true when men want to drive alongside them in the same team, and this is now our case with a trio promising a fulfilling season both from a human and sporting perspective.”