Ogier Cruises to 2015 Monte Win

After Sebastien Loeb's sensational return to the World Rally Championship was blunted after 6 stages, Sebastien Ogier cruised to a second consecutive Monte Carlo Rally victory for Volkswagen as the manufacturer locked out the podium at the opening round of the Championship in the south of France.

After his fierce battle with returning nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb ended on Friday when the Citroen man hit a wall, Ogier cruised to victory ahead of team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. Latvala at least trumped his Polo WRC team-mate on the powerstage with the third-best time, gaining a point as Ogier was restricted to fourth. Mikkelsen held on to third overall despite a late surge from Mads Ostberg.

Though Citroen team-mates Loeb and Kris Meeke later achieved multiple stage wins between them, Ostberg was flawless en route to fourth overall. Behind the leading DS 3 WRC, a terrific battle between the two Hyundai drivers was settled on the very last stage in favour of Thierry Neuville over team mate Dani Sordo. Elfyn Evans recovered from the suspension woes that ruined his battle for fourth with the two i20 WRCs on Saturday to consolidate seventh for the M-Sport team.

Loeb's recovery from his Friday afternoon error was completed on SS14 when he passed Martin Prokop for eighth, while 10th-placed Meeke was fastest on both of Sunday's Col St Jean - St Laurent runs, taking the maximum three-point bonus on the powerstage with Loeb just 0.2s slower.

Robert Kubica's recovery from his various problems was less successful, although he won Saturday morning's stage and was a regular frontrunner for the remainder of the rally, he then crashed after the finish on SS14 when his RK Ford Fiesta WRC lost its brakes over the finish and ploughed into a wall, destroying the right-hand side of his car.

Final Results after SS15:

1 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 3h36m40.2s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 58.0s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 2m12.3s
4 Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 2m43.6s
5 Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 3m12.1s
6 Daniel Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 3m12.9s
7 Elfyn Evans M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 5m23.7s
8 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 8m34.7s
9 Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford 9m54.8s
10 Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 10m55.6s

25th January, 2015