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Ogier wins fifth WRC title

The championship ends at the dirt road Kennards Hire Rally Australia which is based in Coffs Harbour on 16 – 19 November.

 Courtesy of Red Bull Racing

 

Frenchman into second on all-time list after FIA World Rally Championship win.


A finely-judged third place at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB guaranteed a fifth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship for Sébastien Ogier with the 33-year-old Frenchman moving to second in the all-time rankings behind nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb.

Victory for team-mate Elfyn Evans was his maiden WRC triumph, made all the sweeter as he achieved it on home soil. The Welshman became the first Briton to win the wet and muddy forest road event since Richard Burns in 2000.

Evans is the seventh different driver to win in a remarkably unpredictable season. He headed Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 by 37.3sec after leading for virtually the entire four-day, 304.36km event. Ogier finished a further 7.9sec behind.

A tense last leg culminated at the Power Stage finale alongside Llyn Brenig reservoir. Title rival Thierry Neuville charged to fastest time to claim maximum bonus points, while Ogier crept into a points-paying position by 0.1sec to seal the title with a round to spare.

“I had big emotions on the finish line,” said Ogier. “It’s been a tough year and we’ve all had to work very hard. It’s so amazing to be champion with M-Sport World Rally Team.”

Evans’ victory offset the crushing disappointment of losing by 0.7sec to Neuville in Argentina six months ago in the third-closest finish in history.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has stuck by me through all these years. A lot of people have supported me and this win is for them,” said the 28-year-old former British champion.

To seal a remarkable weekend for Ogier and Evans, their M-Sport team lifted the manufacturers’ title for the first time since 2007. Their privately-run squad toppled three of the world’s biggest car companies after finishing on the podium on every round to date.

Andreas Mikkelsen did his best to relegate Ogier to assist team-mate Neuville. The Norwegian overhauled Jari-Matti Latvala to finish fourth, 4.6sec off the podium. Latvala struggled with the handling of his Toyota Yaris and finished half a second behind.

The championship ends at the dirt road Kennards Hire Rally Australia which is based in Coffs Harbour on 16 – 19 November.

Leading positions
1. E Evans / D Barritt GBR Ford Fiesta 2hr 57min 00.6sec
2. T Neuville / N Gilsoul BEL Hyundai i20 + 37.3sec
3. S Ogier / J Ingrassia FRA Ford Fiesta + 45.2sec
4. A Mikkelsen / A Jaeger NOR Hyundai i20 + 49.8sec
5. J-M Latvala / M Anttila FIN Toyota Yaris + 50.3sec
6. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Ford Fiesta + 1min 02.3sec

Championship positions
1. S Ogier 215pts
2. T Neuville 183pts
3. O Tänak 169pts

 

Post photo:

Elfyn Evans (GB), Thierry Neuville (BEL), Sebastien Ogier (FRA) celebrate the podium during FIA World Rally Championship in Deeside, Great Britain on 29.10.2018

 

Courtesy of Red Bull Racing

 


 




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Ogier closes on fifth crown

Ogier has been unbeatable in the muddy forests of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB for the past four seasons.

 

M-Sport chase two titles in British forests at penultimate 2017 WRC race.

 

 

Sébastien Ogier stands on the verge of a fifth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title in Britain this weekend.

Ogier has been unbeatable in the muddy forests of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB for the past four seasons.

A record fifth victory would secure another drivers’ title and complete a dream double on home soil for M-Sport World Rally Team.

It would also clinch a first manufacturers’ crown since 2007 for the privately-run British squad over the might of three of the world’s biggest car firms.

“This could be a very special event for the team but we can’t think too much about that. We just need to focus on enjoying the rally and delivering the best performance we can,” said the Ford Fiesta driver.

Ogier holds a 37-point lead over team-mate Ott Tänak with the British fixture and next month’s final round at Kennards Hire Rally Australia (16 – 19 November) remaining. Thierry Neuville is a further point behind.

The permutations are complex but to keep the championship alive until Australia, Estonian Tänak must score at least seven points more than Ogier this weekend while Hyundai Motorsport’s Neuville must take eight more.

It’s a tough task against a driver who has been so dominant in Wales for the last four years.

Ogier also has the advantage of starting first in Friday’s opening leg, a position which secures the best grip on the muddy tracks.

He added, “It’s one of the most challenging rallies of the year and there is a real art to judging the grip levels through the forests. It’s an event that takes a while to get to grips with, quite literally, but I have to say that I now feel at home on the Welsh stages.”

A fifth drivers’ title would promote Ogier to second in the all-time rankings. However, he would still be some distance behind Sébastien Loeb, who won nine in a row between 2004 and 2012 and will be in Britain to follow the fortunes of his fellow countryman.

The battle for the manufacturers’ title is simpler. If one of M-Sport’s three nominated drivers – Ogier, Tänak or Elfyn Evans – finishes in Britain, irrespective of the overall position, it will secure the four points that are required.

“It’s hard to find the words to describe just what a momentous achievement we are on the verge of securing this week,” said team principal Malcolm Wilson.

“But it’s not done yet and we cannot forget just what a challenging event Wales Rally GB can be. The changeable weather, unpredictable grip and long days make it one of the most demanding events of the year.”

The Deeside-based rally starts on Thursday evening and finishes on Sunday afternoon after 21 speed tests covering 304.36km.


 

Courtesy of Red Bull Racing

 

 


 

 

 





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Sébastien Ogier claim his fourth straight Monte-Carlo win

Sébastien Ogier start to defence WRC title with fourth straight Monte-Carlo win.

 

Frenchman begins WRC title defence with fourth straight Monte-Carlo win.

Sébastien Ogier eased through the final leg in the mountains above Monaco to claim his fifth Monte success in total by 2min 15.0sec in a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car.

It was a dream debut for the Frenchman with the M-Sport World Rally Team, for whom this was a first win since November 2012.

Jari-Matti Latvala finished second in a Toyota Yaris on the Japanese manufacturer’s return to the WRC after a 17-year absence.

Final day engine problems for Ott Tänak denied M-Sport a one-two as he slipped to third, a further 42.8sec behind.

Ogier took the lead late on Saturday’s penultimate leg when event-long leader Thierry Neuville broke his Hyundai i20 Coupe’s suspension after an impact.

With a comfortable gap, Ogier took no risks through the final snow-hit speed test over the famous Col de Turini.

“I was hoping to win but to take it from the first rally, after only one month together and with so little preparation, feels really amazing,” he said.

“The conditions didn’t make our life easy this weekend, starting first in the snow on day one and finishing with more and more snow.”

Latvala struggled to find a good rhythm initially but changes to his car’s set-up revitalised the Finn.

Third overnight became second when Ott Tänak dropped time with a broken ignition coil pack in his Fiesta and Latvala sped by.

With no service, Estonian Tänak worked furiously to make repairs and did enough to hold onto third, fending off Dani Sordo’s i20 Coupe with a spirited downhill drive to the finish of the last special stage in falling snow.

Craig Breen finished fifth in a Citroën DS 3 with Elfyn Evans completing the top six in another Fiesta.

The Welshman won three stages on Saturday to offset a disappointing start when he dropped several minutes in snow and ice.

More snow and ice are in store for competitors at the second round next month. Rally Sweden is based in Torsby on February 9-12.

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) competes during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Monte Carlo, Monaco on January 21, 2017

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