Ogier's Rally & Volkswagen's Title in Aus'

Cementing Volkswagen's WRC Manufacturers title, Sebastien Ogier led the German manufacturer's first World Rally Championship podium sweep on Rally Australia. Ogiers and team mate Jari-Matti Latvala broke away from what had begun as a very close five-way lead fight on Friday also involving Andreas Mikkelsen, Kris Meeke and Mikko Hirvonen.

Meeke did his utmost to get his Citroen among the VWs and led much of the first leg but his hopes of a podium finish were finally dashed with a penalty for corner-cutting on Saturday, leaving Mikkelsen in third that let VW clinch its second straight WRC title.

Ogier's championship lead now stands at 50 points with three rallies to go, raising the possibility of Ogier clinching his second successive title at home in France next month. Meeke easily moved back into fourth ahead of Hirvonen's M-Sport Ford on the final day. Hyundai meanwhile had to settle for sixth, seventh and 10th with Hayden Paddon, Thierry Neuville and Chris Atkinson, with Neuville having been delayed by a impact with a post on SS5.

All three gained a place when Mads Ostberg suffered broken suspension on his Citroen with just one stage to go but he managed to nurse the car home in 13th. Elfyn Evans and Robert Kubica finished eighth and ninth with Kubica having one of his strongest gravel runs so far, delayed only by a trip off the road on Saturday when distracted by a test of a new automated yellow flag warning system in the cockpit. Nasser Al-Attiyah won a close-fought WRC2 battle, boosting his title prospects.


Pos Driver Team Car Gap

1 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 2h53m18.0s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 6.8s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 1m18.0s
4 Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 1m44.0s
5 Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ltd Ford 1m53.6s
6 Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 2m56.2s
7 Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 4m28.2s
8 Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ltd Ford 5m10.0s
9 Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford 6m39.8s
10 Chris Atkinson Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 9m29.4s

14th September, 2014