As the World Rally Championship is quickly reaching its conclusion with Elfyn Evans in pursuit of seven-time world champion Sébastien Ogier, rally officials and local law enforcement have also been in pursuit of Ogier. According to DirtFish, Ogier has been fined $2,320 (€2,000) for overtaking a vehicle on the hard shoulder and failing to stop for the police while in transit to the Saturday’s last special stage during Rally Catalunya.
The stewards report states, “The crew of car No. 1 overtook a car driving in front of them on a road section using the hard shoulder on the right-hand side on Saturday at 17:22. They also did not stop when being shown to do so by the police officer at the incident site.” Ogier was also fined $232 (€200) the day prior for wearing his balaclava outside of his race suit. While it might seem like a stiff fine for a clothing infraction, the balaclava is a piece of fire-resistant clothing designed to give rally participants more time to escape their vehicle in the case of a fire.
This is not the first time that Ogier has fallen foul of the regulations and the law this season. Last April, he was involved in a collision with a car while in transit to the final day’s opening stage of Rally Croatia. The incident was captured on camera and widely circulated on social media. Along with the collision, Ogier was also caught on camera leaving the scene of the accident while being questioned by police.
Sébastien Ogier was still able to take his damaged car to victory in Croatia. Ogier was fined $5,800 (€5,000) for leaving the scene and another $2,320 (€2,000) for running a red light shortly afterwards. He was also given a one rally suspended ban to be enforced should he commit a similar offense over the next six months. However due to mitigating circumstances, the incident in Rally Catalunya won’t be applicable to the suspended ban and Sébastien Ogier will still be able to participate next month in Rally Monza, the World Rally Championship season finale. Ogier currently leads the championship by 17 points over Elfyn Evans.