Ogier Wins Rally Italy for Volkswagen

After an extraordinary start to the Rally Italy, status quo was restored and Sebastien Ogier finally claimed his fourth win of the 2014 World Rally Championship season as problems for Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala provided the champion with an easy final day.

On Saturday, Ogier looked as if he was facing a second straight defeat by team-mate and title rival Latvala but that all changed when the Finn hit a rock on the final stage of leg two and had to stop to change a wheel, dropping him to third but even before then, Latvala had experienced scares from a sensor problem then his engine cutting out followed by a brake issue that he reckoned cost him the lead even before his wheel-braking mistake.

Latvala was unable to make any progress back up from third place, as Mads Ostberg kept his Citroen out of the VW's reach and clinched a hard-earned runner-up spot. Andreas Mikkelsen had spent most of his rally chasing Ostberg, before damper problems on Saturday delayed him and left the third VW settling for fourth, although he did get the bonus points for the Powerstage win.

Elfyn Evans completed the top five, but he had trailed M-Sport team-mate Robert Kubica until the Pole ripped a wheel off his Ford on a rock on Saturday's penultimate stage. Kubica was able to return under Rally 2 and finished eighth, behind Martin Prokop and Henning Solberg.

The third M-Sport Ford of Mikko Hirvonen was completely destroyed in a mysterious shock fire that delayed Friday's stages. Hyundai also lost a car in Sardinia, on a weekend of huge promise ending in heartbreak for Thierry Neuville and Juho Hannin

Lorenzo Bertelli claimed his first WRC2 win in ninth overall, ahead of WRC3 champion Sebastien Chardonnet in Citroen's new R5 car.

Leading Final Positions:

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier VW 4h02m37.8s
2. Mads Ostberg Citroen +1m23.1s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +1m32.8s
4. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +2m39.3s
5. Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ford +4m41.8s
6. Martin Prokop Czech Ford +6m05.3s
7. Henning Solberg Solberg Ford +7m15.8s
8. Robert Kubica M-Sport Ford +12m19.0s
9. Lorenzo Bertelli FWRT Ford +15m22.1s *
10. Khalid Al Qassimi Citroen +16m49.3s

* WRC2

8th June, 2014