It’s taken just two rallies for Sébastien Ogier to give Volkswagen’s new Polo R WRC its maiden win, following this year’s round in Sweden.
Building himself a half-minute lead on the opening day, Ogier felt the heat from the Citroën of fellow Frenchman Sébastien Loeb, but managed to maintain the gap throughout the event. Today’s first stage saw Ogier finish three seconds ahead of the pack and, with Loeb making a blunder on the following Finnskogen stage, Ogier increased the lead to 35.8 seconds, before completing the day with a clear 41s margin thanks to a win on the power stage. This victory, which marks Ogier as only the second non-Nordic driver in the history of the Rally Sweden to win the event, is his first since WRC France 2011 and it now sees him leading the championship.
Mads Østberg, who had initially been trying to catch Loeb, took the third step of the podium in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC following a tussle with the second Polo R WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala, who finished just six seconds behind him.
“The final day provided an exciting finale. Sébastien Loeb absolutely flew through the special stages. I really had to push myself to the limit in order to maintain my lead,” said an ecstatic Sébastien Ogier.
WRC Sweden 2013 Results
1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen 3h 11m 41.9s
2. Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (F/MC), Citroën + 41.8s
3. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S), Ford + 1m 24.5s
4. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 1m 30.6s
5. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Ford + 5m 06.4s
6. Juho Hänninen/Tomi Tuominen (FIN/FIN), Ford + 5m 43.1s
7. Martin Prokop/Michal Ernst (CZ/CZ), Ford + 11m 25.4s
8. Henning Solberg/Emil Axelsson (N/S), Ford + 11m 42.7s
[Source: Volkswagen Motorsport]