Ogier claims third world title

Source:AFP Published: 2015-9-13 22:58:01

Fourth man in history to win 3 or more championships

Frenchman Sebastien Ogier claimed a hat trick of World Rally Championships (WRC) when he eased to victory in the Rally of Australia on Sunday.

With three rounds of the WRC remaining, in France, Spain and the UK, Ogier is now on 235 points and cannot be beaten for the 2015 title.

Ogier, alongside French co-driver Julien Ingrassia, beat Volkswagen Polo teammate Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland by 12.3 seconds to take his seventh win of the season.

Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke, in a Citroen DS, was in third place, 32.6 seconds ­behind Ogier.

Latvala led the Frenchman after the first day but once Ogier settled into his rhythm he steadily reeled in the leaders and finished day two 0.3 seconds ahead of Meeke.

He continued his dominance into the final day, winning all four stages on Sunday.

Meeke slipped a place on the final day and was only fourth fastest on the opening stage, ­allowing Latvala to leapfrog him into second.

Latvala also finished in ­second place in the ­championship, with Volkswagen claiming a hat trick of ­manufacturers' titles.

Ogier hugged the bonnet of his car after the final stage and said it had been his best performance of the season.

"[It's been] an amazing ­season, the best I have ever done," he said.

"And this rally win is very significant. It was the most ­difficult rally to open the roads on.

"On paper it was impossible to win but I was determined. It's the perfect way to secure the title."

Ogier became only the fourth man in history to win three or more championships, behind compatriot Sebastien Loeb, who has nine, and Finnish pair Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen, both with four.

Meeke conceded that his Citroen DS couldn't match the pace of the two Volkswagens on the roads around the New South Wales town of Coffs Harbour.

"For two days I had the advantage of a better road position and now I don't," he said after the opening stage.

"That's the true pace of the Volkswagens. I'm still trying and I can't do more."

Latvala also admitted Ogier was too good this week.

"I'm happy to have been so consistent and to have made no mistakes," he said.

"Maybe on Friday and ­Saturday morning I was missing a little spark to fight for the victory - it wasn't enough ... Seb has done an amazing job. He has been better than me."

Posted in: Motorsport

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