Volkswagen Motorsport had cause for double celebrations in France today after newly-crowned World Champion Sebastien Ogier put the icing on the cake with a win on home soil.
Ogier had wrapped up the title by the end of the first stage of the rally and appeared to lose focus the following day, dropping down to fifth place on Friday. Ford’s Thierry Neuville had been holding a commanding lead until he destroyed a tyre after running wide on Saturday afternoon, leaving Sordo, Latvala, Loeb and Ogier to fight it out on the final day with just five seconds separating the four cars.
Sebastien Loeb crashed out of his last ever event on Sunday morning, while the muddy conditions saw Latvala slip down to third and his team-mate Ogier pick up the pace to overtake Dani Sordo before ending the day over twelve seconds ahead of the Citroen driver.
“I did not find any rhythm on day one. We were almost 30 seconds off the pace by the evening, and I never thought that we could still win this rally. Then I thought: I can’t just give up without a fight. So I pressed my internal reset button and started driving fast,” said a jubilant Ogier.
Rally France results
1. S Ogier VW 2h53m07.6s
2. D Sordo Citroen +12.2s
3. J Latvala VW +19.5s
4. T Neuville M-Sport Ford +1m14.1s
5. E Novikov M-Sport Ford +3m10.9s
6. M Hirvonen Citroen +3m37.7s
7. A Mikkelsen VW +4m04.2s
8. M Ostberg M-Sport Ford +4m35.2s
9. R Kubica PH Citroen +9m31.4s
10. R Dumas Dumas/M-Sport Ford +11m55.8s
[Source: Volkswagen Motorsport]