By Chris King •
Updated: 02 Jun 2022 • 14:50
Sebastien Ogier, the current World Rally Championship leader, is driving for the Toyota team in the Rally of Spain this weekend. The Frenchman has discovered though, that even the best drivers in the world are not exempt from receiving traffic fines.
During the course of the weekend, he picked up not one, but two, traffic fines after a series of incidents. His first penalty, on Friday 15, was not such a severe crime, when he was fined €200 for not wearing his balaclava – an item like a hood that drivers wear – underneath his helmet. This fine was dished out to him by FIA stewards, the rally sport’s governing body.
One day later, Ogier committed a much more serious infraction while on his way to the final stage in the Tarragona municipality of Salou. Driving his Toyota Yaris WRC, accompanied by his navigator, Julien Ingrassiae, they passed another vehicle on the right shoulder of the road. When ordered to stop, the Frenchman ignored the authorities and continued driving.
The FIA stipulates in its rules that drivers must always abide by local regulations, and so the pilot was fined by the police as his action was considered a traffic offence in Spain.
In a report from the commissioners, it explained, “The crew of car #1 overtook a car driving ahead of them on a stretch of road using the right-hand shoulder on Saturday at 5:22 pm. They also did not stop when the police officer at the scene of the incident told them that they did it”.
It went on to state that Ogier “Admitted having overtaken the car on the right, and apologized for the error”, although he also wanted to defend himself and explain that he did not understand that the police were stopping him at that time.
“However, he stated that he had not understood the hand signals made by the police officer because the officer was not in front of the line of cars, and very often those signals are made to help the rally cars get through the traffic jams. Furthermore, he added that he was driving through the roundabout at low speed”, concluded the report, as reported by 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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