Hirvonen claims third consecutive Rally Oz

Mikko Hirvonen

Mikko Hirvonen

Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen has won his third consecutive Rally Australia by clocking the fourth fastest time on the rally ending Power Stage.

Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb took the three points by topping the televised 4.58km final test.

Jari-Matti Latvala, who handed his championship-contending team-mate the lead of the rally on the penultimate stage, sealed a one-two finish for the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team after finishing 1.2s behind Loeb in the Power Stage.

Citroen privateer Petter Solberg took third on the Power Stage and the rally, while Stobbart Ford’s Matthew Wilson equalled his career best result with fourth overall.

Completing a fairytale rally for the team, Ford’s third factory driver Khalid Al Qassimi improved on his previous highest overall finish to round out the top five.

Sixth outright for Hayden Paddon was more than enough to take the Production Car World Rally Championship. The New Zealander finished the rally 1:32s ahead of nearest Production Car challenger Michal Kosciuszko, while Ukrainian Oleksandr Saliuk and Mexican Benito Guerra were eigth and ninth respectively in their Mitsubishi Lancers.

Following their crashes on Friday, the Citroens of Loeb and Sebastien Ogier recovered to finish the rally 10th and 11th.

The Citroen team’s insistence that Loeb should finish ahead of his younger team-mate saw Ogier slow in the Power Stage – giving away a total of 10 minutes on the final two stages.

Loeb continues to lead the World Rally Championship for Drivers’ with just three rallies remaining, albeit with a reduced 15 point margin back to Hirvonen.

RESULTS: Rally Australia

Pos

Driver

Car

Model

Time

1

Mikko Hirvonen

Ford

Fiesta WRC

3:35:59.0

2

Jari-Matti Latvala

Ford

Fiesta WRC

+0:14.7

3

Petter Solberg

Citroen

DS3 WRC

+0:44.8

4

Matthew Wilson

Ford

Fiesta WRC

+8:45.2

5

Khalid Al Qassimi

Ford

Fiesta WRC

+12:33.3

6

Hayden Paddon

Subaru

Impreza WRX

+17:29.3

7

Michael Kosciuszko

Mitsubishi

Lancer Evo X

+19:01.3

9

Oleksandr Saliuk

Mitsubishi

Lancer Evo IX

+21:08.5

10

Sebastien Loeb

Citroen

DS3 WRC

+22:48.9

Drivers’ Championship

Pos Driver Car Model Points
1 Sebastien Loeb Citroen DS3 WRC 196
2 Mikko Hirvonen Ford Fiesta WRC 181
3 Sebastien Ogier Citroen DS3 WRC 167
4 Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Fiesta WRC 116
5 Petter Solberg Citroen DS3 WRC 110
6 Mads Østberg Ford Fiesta WRC 56

Manufacturers’ Championship

Pos Team Car Model Points
1 Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC 347
2 Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta WRC 285
3 M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta WRC 117
4 Petter Solberg Citroen DS3 WRC 98
5 Munchi’s Ford Fiesta WRC 32
6 Team Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta WRC 30

Final day video highlights

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