Ogier's 2013 Rally de Espana Win

World Champion Sebastien Ogier's eighth victory of the year, secured at the weekend on RallyRACC-Rally de Espana, guaranteed Volkswagen Motorsport the manufacturers' world title in its first season to add to the drivers' crown that the Frenchman had secured in France earlier this month.

Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala survived late dramas to finish 32.9sec behind Ogier and Mikko Hirvonen completed the podium in a Citroen DS3, another 40.8sec behind. Former leader Dani Sordo's hopes of victory in his home rally ended in the penultimate test with broken suspension in his DS3.

After losing almost a minute and the lead with a broken wheel rim Saturday, Ogier began the third and final leg in fourth place, but as gravel tracks replaced the asphalt of the opening two days, Ogier's lower start position guaranteed him faster roads as rivals ahead swept them clear of stones. This advantage was countered however by dust hanging in the still morning air, combined with blinding low sunshine.

Ogier set an incredible pace, overhauling Sordo before moving ahead of overnight leader Latvala in the penultimate test. He sealed victory with another crushing performance in the final stage.

An emotional Ogier dedicated his win to the British driver Sean Edwards, leader of the Porsche Supercup championship, who died in a testing accident 12 days ago. Edwards was Ogier's team-mate during his guest appearance in the Supercup race at the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

"I realise sometimes that there are more important things in life. I lost a really good friend and I want to dedicate this victory to him and to his family," he added.

Latvala was lucky to finish after completing the penultimate stage with a fire in the engine bay of his Polo R but marshals reacted quickly to extinguish the flames, caused by a leaking fuel pipe. The Finn also experienced a differential problem, which he carried through the final stage.

Mikko Hirvonen enjoyed a quiet day and looked set for fourth, despite a small spin this afternoon, however, team-mate Sordo's demise as he battled to stay in touch with Latvala and Ogier, promoted Hirvonen onto the podium.

28th October, 2013