The World Rally Championship title is secure but Sebastien Ogier says the champagne is on ice, as he chases a perfect finish to the season in Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.
The Frenchman did enough at Wales’ Rally Great Britain to wrap up his fifth world title no matter what happened this weekend at Rally Australia.
But the M-Sport driver says he has delayed celebrations, hoping to notch another win on the three-day, 320km leg that begins on Friday.
“We haven’t really yet, but it’s coming,” Ogier said of his team’s celebrations.
“Definitely, we’re going to celebrate it hard.
“But it’s always a target to win; you can’t be satisfied by just driving around; of course, I’ll give everything.”
A tweaked course means drivers will exceed 200km/h on what is expected to be a fast weekend of racing.
Ogier admitted he would have had some anxious moments if the title was still up for grabs when he arrived in Australia.
“You’ll have to be committed; there’s some very, very fast sections,” he said.
“It’s a relief – you know coming here, as a leader of the championship, it’s very difficult to fight for the win. It would’ve been a very tough challenge.”
While Ogier can rest easy with the title in the bag, teammate Ott Tanak will hunt Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville in a race for second overall.
Drivers will participate in Thursday’s shake down warm-up drive, before stage one begins on Friday morning.