Sebastien Ogier is the 2015 FIA World Rally Champion after sweeping victory at Rally Australia 2015 this weekend. The Frenchman has won seven out of ten WRC events in the current season enabling him to claim early victory of the championship. This is his third consecutive win, he picked up the ‘role’ in 2013 after fellow countryman Sebastien Loeb left.
Ogier now joins an exciting league of WRC drivers with more than two titles – Loeb with 7, Tommi Makinen and Juha Kankkunen with 4 each.
After opening the stages for the first two days of Rally Australia, Ogier had a slower pace compared to the drivers behind him who were rallying on a smoother surface. Citroen driver Kris Meeke briefly held the lead but Ogier snatched it back on Saturday night, he went ahead to win the five stages on Sunday before being crowned champion.
His teammate Jari-Mari Latvala finished second to give Volkswagen Motorsport a 1-2 finish and an early manufacturer’s championship as well. The team claimed its third consecutive title today since the inception of the VW Polo R WRC in 2013. Kris Meeke could not keep up with the speed of the VW Polo Rs on Sunday and ended up third of the podium. Andreas Mikkelsen finished fourth after taking a 10-second penalty that allowed Meeke to build a significant gap between the two.
Hayden Paddon finished fifth in a Hyundai i20 WRC ahead of the best placed Ford Fiesta RS of Ott Tänak. Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo crossed the line in seventh and eighth places respectively in two Hyundai i20s WRC. Elfyn Evans was ninth in another Ford Fiesta RS while WRC 2 driver Nasser Al-Attiyah rounded of the top ten.
The Tour de Corse Rallye de France is the next stop for the drivers on October 1. If you missed our earlier post on Mads Ostberg, he crashed out of the rally during recce after going head on with a truck. Nobody was seriously hurt in the unfortunate incident.