Sebastien Ogier claims third straight WRC crown

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Sunday 13th September, 2015 - 2:13pm

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Sebastien Ogier has scored a brilliant 12.3s victory to win a third consecutive WRC crown and Rally Australia title

Sebastien Ogier has scored a brilliant 12.3s victory to win a third consecutive WRC crown and Rally Australia title

French star Sebastien Ogier completed a clinical attack at Coffs Harbour to claim three successive World Rally Championship titles.

Ogier stamped his class on Coates Hire Rally Australia, icing his triumph with a third straight win in the Coffs Coast event.

In a masterful display, Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia proved untouchable winning all of the last five stages including the final Power Stage run through Wedding Bells.

After going into the final run with an 11.2s lead, Ogier poured on the pace to record a final winning margin of 12.3s over team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

There was a moment of anguish for Latvala ahead of the Power Stage when a warning light flashed up on his dash before he stopped to replace the alternator belt.

Kris Meeke held his nerve by spoiling a VW sweep of the podium, grabbing third in his Citroen DS 3.

Ogier now joins Juha Kankkunen, Marcus Gronholm and Mikko Hirvonen in winning three straight Rally Australia crowns.

The 31-year-old has claimed 31 WRC wins from 94 starts in the top rallying category to be fourth on the all-time list.

“So far it’s been an amazing season. It’s the perfect way to get the third one with a victory,” Ogier said of his seventh win in the 10th round of the season.

“There’s been so many great performances and this is one of the best.”

Latvala conceded that Ogier was simply too strong, putting together a brilliant rally after being challenged on the opening day by being first on the road.

“It was a good feeling to finish this rally. Maybe I’m missing the little, little spark to fight for the victory. Sebastien has been better than me,” Latvala conceded.

Meeke was given an unexpected free hit when his chief rival for the final podium spot, Andreas Mikkelsen was issued with a 10s penalty for being late into the service park ahead of the final two stages.

Mikkelsen soldiered on to finish fourth, 5.9s behind Meeke.

“I’m really happy with the rally. This is one of the best performances we’ve done. I think we’ve done better than fourth place,” Mikkelsen said.

Kiwi Hayden Paddon finished fifth overall for Hyundai, finishing the Power Stage with the fourth fastest time through the 9.23km.

“It’s been a good weekend. We didn’t get the podium we wanted but we weren’t far off the Volkswagens. Next year could be a different story,” Paddon said.

Ott Tanak (M-Sport) was sixth ahead of the i20s of Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

Final result top 10

POS CAR NO DRIVER CO-DRIVER TEAM TIME DIFF PREV DIFF 1ST
1. 1 S. OGIER J. INGRASSIA VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT 2:59:16.4
2. 2 J. LATVALA M. ANTTILA VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT 2:59:28.7 +12.3 +12.3
3. 3 K. MEEKE P. NAGLE CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT 2:59:49.0 +20.3 +32.6
4. 9 A. MIKKELSEN O. FLOENE VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT II 2:59:54.9 +5.9 +38.5
5. 8 H. PADDON J. KENNARD HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT 3:00:11.5 +16.6 +55.1
6. 6 O. TANAK R. MOLDER M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM 3:00:54.4 +42.9 +1:38.0
7. 7 T. NEUVILLE N. GILSOUL HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT 3:01:24.7 +30.3 +2:08.3
8. 20 D. SORDO M. MARTI HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT N 3:01:31.6 +6.9 +2:15.2
9. 5 E. EVANS D. BARRITT M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM 3:03:50.1 +2:18.5 +4:33.7
10. 39 N. AL-ATTIYAH M. BAUMEL NASSER AL-ATTIYAH 3:11:02.9 +7:12.8 +11:46.5

DRIVERS´ STANDINGS

Pos

Driver

Points

1

Sébastien Ogier

235

2

Jari-Matti Latvala

134

3

Andreas Mikkelsen

111

4

Mads Østberg

90

5

Thierry Neuville

86

6

Kris Meeke

71

7

Elfyn Evans

63

8

Ott Tänak

61

9

Hayden Paddon

56

10

Dani Sordo

56

11

Martin Prokop

33

12

Khalid Al-Qassimi

9

13

Juho Hänninen

8

14

Yuriy Protasov

8

15

Nasser Al-Attiyah

7

16

Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari

6

17

Robert Kubica

6

18

Sébastien Loeb

6

19

Esapekka Lappi

4

20

Diego Dominguez

4

20

Paolo Andreucci

4

22

Pontus Tidemand

2

23

Jan Kopecky

2

24

Nicolás Fuchs

2

25

Gustavo Saba

2

26

Stéphane Lefebvre

1

27

Jari Ketomaa

1

28

Lorenzo Bertelli

1

29

Federico Villagra

1

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