Champions in the chair with NGK at Autosport International
NGK played host to two FIA World Rally Championship icons when it exhibited at the Autosport International show at Birmingham’s NEC on January 11-14.
Current World Rally Championship holders Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia visited the company’s stand and signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans.
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a partner of the duo’s M-Sport Ford World Rally Team whose EcoBoostpowered Ford Fiesta WRC cars are fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors.
The five-time World Champions have been busy testing in readiness for the 2018 WRC season which gets underway with the Rallye Monte-Carlo on January 25-28 and said they will be going all out to defend their title in 2018 as well as helping M-Sport retain the manufacturers’ championship.
Sébastien said: “Everyone is working hard in preparation for the new season. It will be difficult as there are a lot of good teams with strong drivers who we will be competing against, but obviously we will be trying our best.
“There won’t be any major changes with the car, but we are obviously looking to see if we can make improvements to the engine, chassis and components. We don’t expect big, big changes.
“The season kicks off in Monte-Carlo, which is special, and we will be doing our best to stay away from trouble, but it won’t be until after the first three events that we will get a real idea of how we expect the season to go.
“I know the NGK brand well and know they are one of the partners who helped make the car really reliable last season and they are working together with us again this season.”
Also driving for M-Sport next season will be Elfyn Evans, who with Daniel Barritt secured a maiden victory at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB last season, and who also visited the NGK stand, and Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula who will take to the wheel of the Cumbrian squad’s third Ford Fiesta WRC in eight rounds of the 2018 championship.