WRC champion Ogier pens deal with M-Sport

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Four-time WRC defending champion Sebastien Ogier has penned a deal to drive for M-Sport in 2017.

The Frenchman was left without a drive for 2017 after Volkswagen, with whom he has won the last four championships, pulled out of WRC.

He will now turn attentions to UK-based M-Sport and getting to grips with their Ford Fiesta WRC.

"There will be a lot of new things this season, but I am definitely looking forward to it," Ogier said in a statement. "We have a new generation of world rally cars, and a new team - it's certainly an exciting time.

"There's not long before we line-up at the start of Rallye Monte-Carlo and we've not had a lot of seat time with the Ford Fiesta WRC, but we'll give it our best to be ready. We're aware of the challenges, and I can see how hungry Malcolm [Wilson, team owner] and his team are for success.

"It's funny to think that just a few months ago I was sitting at a motorsport forum at Wales Rally GB saying how nice it would be to work with him one day. I had no idea at the time that it would come quite so soon, but here we are!

"I'm looking forward to working with M-Sport, and we'll certainly be aiming to return them to the top step of the podium!"

Ogier is joined at M-Sport by Estonia's Ott Tanak, eighth in last year's drivers' championship.

M-Sport finished fourth in 2016's manufacturers' standings, while a Ford has not been driven to a WRC drivers' title since 1981.