Ogier Wins LOTOS Rally Poland

Having been missing from the WRC calendar for five years the Rally Poland, an ultra-fast gravel event had been largely an unknown quantity for the teams but the reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier didn't let this affect his normal winning performance.

He was fastest on 10 of the rallies 22 stages including the rally-ending Power Stage where three bonus championship points were up for grabs. His winning margin of 1m 07s was just reward for his dominant performance and he claimed the 21st WRC victory of his career. Team mate Andreas Mikkelsen finished second after encountering brake problems in his VW Polo. The 25-year-old Norwegian was extremely fast during the opening exchanges but his challenge faltered on the second day when he spun and lost the brakes on his Polo R WRC.

Thierry Neuville gave Hyundai's i20 WRC its second podium finish of the year, the Belgian's only drama on his way to third place was when his car's handbrake locked on in SS9 and he lost 32.2s. The fight for the remaining places on the leaderboard were significantly affected by the drama that unfolded on the 14th stage of the rally. M-Sport's Elfyn Evans and Citroen's Mads Ostberg both retired after clipping a big rock lurking in the Polish undergrowth. Evans damaged his Ford Fiesta's left-front suspension, while Ostberg damaged the roll cage of his DS3 WRC when it rolled.

VW's Jari-Matti Latvala hit the same rock, however, he managed to continue, albeit at a reduced speed. Others to suffer in SS14 were Kris Meeke, Henning Solberg and local crowd favourite Robert Kubica who all lost valuable time after picking up punctures. Once the dust settled, the leaderboard started to take a meaningful shape as the crews headed towards the finish.

Privateers Henning Solberg and Martin Prokop rounded out the top-ten places but both men were some distance off Ogier's winning pace that equated to 304.21km of competitive driving at an average speed of 118.48kmh.

With seven of the thirteen 2014 qualifying events now spent, Ogier leads the World Rally Championship with 166 points to Latvala's 116 and Mikkelsen's 83. The next event is Rally Finland on 31st July - 3rd August.

Rally Poland Top Ten Results

1. S. OGIER 2:34:02.0
2. A. MIKKELSEN 2:35:09.7
3. T. NEUVILLE 2:36:15.5
4. M. HIRVONEN 2:36:34.4
5. J. LATVALA 2:36:35.1
6. J. HANNINEN 2:36:51.9
7. K. MEEKE 2:38:29.9
8. H. PADDON 2:38:34.1
9. H. SOLBERG 2:39:01.0
10.M. PROKOP 2:40:13.3

29th June, 2014