Sunday 13 September 2015

Rally - Done and dusted

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia won the Rally Australia, ahead of team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, to secure their third World Championship title in a row in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ competitions. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene finished fourth to ensure that Volkswagen wrapped up their third back-to-back Manufacturers’ Championship with rallies still to come.

The Volkswagen drivers have won nine of the ten rallies so far this season. Either Sébastien Ogier or Jari-Matti Latvala, were victorious in Monte Carlo, Sweden, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Finland, Germany and Australia. Over the course of the ten rallies, the Polo R WRC has claimed a total of 19 podium finishes.

Ogier went into the final 68.76 kilometres of the Rally Australia just two car lengths ahead of Kris Meeke, who was second overnight. Over the course of the final day’s five special stages, he extended this lead to 32.6 seconds. Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala started Sunday 2.6 seconds off the lead, and eventually came home 12.3 seconds behind Ogier.

Afterwards Sébastien Ogier said: “It is a fantastic feeling to be world champion again! I am overjoyed. The first World Championship title will obviously always be rather special, but the emotions are always overwhelming every time. It was an incredibly intense battle here in Australia. Because the gap to Kris and Jari-Matti was so small all weekend, I had no time at all to even think about the title. Even this morning I only had one approach: flat-out. I am now just really happy that Julien and I have won our third title with a victory. It will probably take a while for what we have achieved together with our fantastic team over the past three years to really sink in. The fact that we also won the Manufacturers’ title with the Volkswagen team is obviously the icing on the cake.”

Jari-Matti Latvala commented: “Winning all three titles here make this a fantastic day for the Volkswagen team. I tried everything again today and kept on pushing right to the final stage, even with a cracked windscreen. Unfortunately we came up just short and I will have to settle for second place today. On the other hand, I have extended my advantage over third place in the overall standings. Congratulations to my team-mate Sébastien Ogier. He deservedly won the rally and is also a deserved world champion.”

One more thing, the silly hats! The smurf hats and special tee-shirts were provided by team partner Salomon who have provided all the team gear this year - and had a box ready and waiting for just such a moment!

WRC Drivers' Points:
1. Sébastien Ogier, 235
2. Jari-Matti Latvala, 134
3. Andreas Mikkelsen, 111
4. Mads Østberg, 90
5. Thierry Neuville, 86
6. Kris Meeke, 71
7. Elfyn Evans, 63
8. Ott Tänak, 62
9. Hayden Paddon, 56
10. Dani Sordo, 56

Manufacturers' Championship:
1. Volkswagen Motorsport, 343
2. Hyundai Motorsport, 177
3. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT, 164
4. M-Sport, 148
5. Volkswagen Motorsport II, 76
6. Hyundai Motorsport N, 49

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