Sebastien Ogier has taken his third World Rally Championship title today, after clinching it in Australia and beating teammate Jari-Matti Latvala to the rally win by 12.3 seconds. The Volkswagen driver was fourth heading into Saturday, but after winning the final seven speed tests he managed to eek out the gap necessary to win after dealing with the worst road conditions throughout the weekend starting each stage.
For the majority of the weekend it looked like Kris Meeke might take the win since he had the advantage of starting further back than the Volkswagen duo, however he admitted that the pace at the end from Ogier was too fast in the closing stages.
With their one-two finish Volkswagen also managed to clinch the manufacturers title, although only just after Latvala finished when an alternator warning scare heading into the final stage nearly put him out of action. Andreas Mikkelsen meanwhile checked into the final stage with a 10 second time penalty, which allowed Meeke to finish ahead in third – 20.3 seconds behind Ogier.
But all eyes are on Ogier, who with three rounds to go managed to join an exclusive club of WRC drivers that have won more than two championships including Sebastien Loeb, Juha Kankkunen, and Tommi Mäkinen. WRC’s next outing is on Ogier home turf in France, before heading to Spain at the end of October, and Wales for Rally GB in the middle of November.