Following on from Sebastien Ogier’s drivers’ title, Volkswagen has clinched the World Rally Championship manufacturers’ crown after an impressive one-two in Spain today.
Ogier had been dominating the event by Friday evening, but a puncture on Saturday saw him slip down to sixth – behind the leading duo of team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala and Citroen’s Dani Sordo. By Sunday morning Latvala had extended his lead over Sordo to almost ten seconds, while Ogier shaved over thirty seconds off the gap, moving up into third position after Ford’s Thierry Neuville landed a puncture.
Ogier continued to be in a class of his own, passing Sordo for second before going after his fellow Polo R WRC driver. The Frenchman secured his third consecutive SS win and took the lead on the penultimate stage, but things went downhill for Latvala, who developed problems before his car crossed the line with flames coming from the engine bay. The Finn amazingly made it out for the final stage finishing second behind Ogier and one step on the podium above Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen.
Andreas Mikkelsen in the third Polo had a disappointing weekend after going off on SS 04 and destroying his suspension. He returned to the rally on Sunday after failing to make it to the start of the next stage in time and immediately set the pace, but made a mistake in the dusty conditions and understeered into a ditch.
Rally Spain results
1 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia 3:33:21.20.0
2 J. Latvala / M. Anttila 3:33:54.1+32.9
3 M. Hirvonen / J. Lehtinen 3:34:34.9+1:13.7
4 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul 3:34:55.1+1:33.9
5 E. Novikov / I. Minor 3:35:22.2+2:01.0
6 M. Østberg / J. Andersson 3:35:47.2+2:26.0
7 M. Prokop / M. Ernst 3:38:17.0+4:55.8
8 H. Paddon / J. Kennard 3:40:16.9+6:55.7
9 R. Kubica / M. Baran (WRC 2) 3:44:35.3+11:14.1
10 A. Al-Kuwari / K. Duffy 3:46:48.0+13:26.8
[Source: Volkswagen Motorsport]