The NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has thanked star duo Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia who will be moving to pastures new in 2019.

The announcement that the world champions are to leave the team and re-join Citroen came on the eve of the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB which starts on October 4.

Ignition specialist NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a partner of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team whose Fiestas are fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors.

Ogier is currently in third place in the drivers’ standings with M-Sport in a similar position in the manufacturers’ championship.

A statement by M-Sport said: “When Sébastien and Julien joined the team in 2017, they made history and helped M-Sport secure the triple crown with the FIA World Rally Championships for drivers, co-drivers and manufacturers. It was an achievement the whole team will remember for a long time to come.

“Having secured victories in Monte-Carlo, Mexico and Corsica this year, Sébastien and Julien are also in with a strong chance of defending their titles and the entire team will continue to work their hardest to ensure this successful partnership comes to a close on another high.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said: “I would like to thank Sébastien and Julien for everything they have done for the team over the past two years. Their professionalism, attention to detail, determination and outright speed is something to be admired and we’re all very sorry to see them go.

“I am immensely proud of everything we achieved together, and their time with the team is something that I think everyone will remember for a long time to come.

“We wish them well with the next and final chapter of their careers, but there are still three events left to contest this year and the whole team will continue to give one hundred and ten percent in the defence of our championship titles.”

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “NGK is proud to have helped Sébastien and Julien achieve so much success for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team. I am sure they and the team will be fighting hard to the end of the season.”

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