Ogier posts High Five in Finland

Sebastien Ogier was a class above again - this time in Finland

Sebastien Ogier was a class above again – this time in Finland

Sebastien Ogier is well on target to winning this year’s World Rally Championship with a controlled victory at the Neste Oil Rally Finland.

It’s the Volkswagen driver’s fifth win of the season and 12th of his career victory and he is now 90 clear in the title fight.

The Frenchman finish 36.6sec ahead of Thierry Neuville (Belgium) with the fellow Ford Fiesta RS of Norway’s Mads Ostberg another 21 secs back, after an enthralling duel which was only decided when Ostberg went off the road in the penultimate stage.

“I had a dream about winning here,” said Ogier, who is just the fifth non-Nordic driver to win this classic event.

“A lot of points for the championship and victory in Finland make it a perfect weekend.

“We pushed when we had to and backed off when necessary to save the tyres and the car,” said an emotional Ogier, who ensured that for the third consecutive year the rally was won by a non-Finn after 53 wins for the host country in the previous 60 editions.

Neuville and Ostberg were locked together all day. The advantage swung to and fro and they started the second pass through the awesome Ouninpohja stage split by one-tenth of a second. But when Ostberg went off the road avoiding a huge rock, the battle was decided.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Neuville.

“We did a great job. Yesterday we lost time with a puncture but otherwise it was a smooth, clean run. Before the rally I couldn’t have imagined this result was possible.”

Mikko Hirvonen came into the event with high expectations and a fourth place finish would be seen as a disappointment to him and the fanatical Finnish fans.

Third place for Hayden Paddon in WRC2

Third place for Hayden Paddon in WRC2

Kris Meeke was on course for fifth in another DS3 after a fine debut in the car, but the Briton rolled out in the penultimate test. There was also late disappointment for Jarkko Nikara, who retired his Mini John Cooper Works from sixth with a broken front right shock absorber.

In WRC2 Jari Ketomaa took the win and also finished seventh outright after a successful debut for the new Fiesta R5. Former F1 pilot Robert Kubica was second with Kiwi Hayden Paddon rounding out the podium.

“We wanted to try and match out times against Esapekka Lappi and I think we’ve done ourselves justice on his home turf,” he said.

“We’re not back at 100 per cent yet, that’ll take more time because I’ve been away for a long time, but at long last we have a result on the board. Hopefully this is the start of more to come.”

VIDEO: Morning stages

VIDEO: Afternoon stages

 

FINAL Standings:

Position Driver Team/car Time
1 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2:43:10.4
2 Thierry Neuville Qatar World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
+0:36.6
3 Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
+0:57.6
4 Mikko Hirvonen Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team
Citroën DS3 WRC
+1:21.6
5 Dani Sordo Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team
Citroën DS3 WRC
+6:08.5
6 Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
+8:39.7
7 Jari Ketomaa Dmack-Autotek
Ford Fiesta R5 (WRC2)
+11:19.2
8 P-G Andersson Per-Gunnar Andersson
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
+11:41.5
9 Robert Kubica Robert Kubica
Citroën DS3 RRC (WRC2)
+12:48.1
10 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
+13:42.0


CHAMPIONSHIP Standings  -Drivers:

Position Driver Team/car Points
1 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
181
2= Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
91
2= Thierry Neuville Qatar World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
91
4 Mikko Hirvonen Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team
Citroën DS3 WRC
73
5 Dani Sordo Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team
Citroën DS3 WRC
69
6 Sebastien Loeb Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team
Citroën DS3 WRC
68
7 Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
65
8 Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
39
9 Martin Prokop Lotos WRC Teamn
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
37
10 Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
30


CHAMPIONSHIP Standings – Manufacturers:

Position Team/car Points
1 Volkswagen Motorsport
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
251
2 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team
Citroën DS3 WRC
196
3 Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
112
4 Qatar World Rally Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
107
5 Jipocar Czech National Team
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
39
6 Abu Dhabi Word Citroën Total Rally Team
Citroën DS3 WRC
33
7 Volkswagen Motorsport II
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
26
8 Lotos WRC Teamn
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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