Sunday, 17 November 2013

Ogier dominates in Wales - Wales Rally GB Review

Sebastien Ogier claimed his first Wales Rally GB win in dominant fashion by leading home team mate Jari-Matti Latvala by 21.8 seconds.

The Frenchman, who chose to start second on the road led from Thursday evening until Sunday afternoon, Latvala being the only driver close to challenging him. Despite winning in Wales for the last two years, Latvala couldn't get comfortable with his car all weekend and although he won the 14th stage to close the gap to less than 17 seconds, a stall on stage 19 all but ended his hopes.

In his final rally for M-Sport before moving to Hyundai, Thierry Neuville secured second in the standings with a third placed finish. The Belgian also won the power stage on the final day to claim an extra three points.

After a weekend long battle with fellow countryman Andreas Mikkelsen, Mads Ostberg finished in fourth, one position ahead of Mikkelsen who claimed two stage wins on Saturday. Mikkelsen, now a works Volkswagen driver was returning to the event where he made his WRC debut in 2006.

Dani Sordo clinched seventh, one place behind Martin Prokop, after being hit with a five minute penalty prior to the start of the rally for changing his chassis.

It was a weekend to forget for Citroen who lost their other two cars early on. Mikko Hirvonen rolled out on Friday after a pace note error whilst former F1 driver Robert Kubica, making his WRC debut, also rolled on Friday. He did manage to rejoin on Saturday morning under rally 2 rules but the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner rolled again, bringina a premature end to his first event in the top flight.

Notable WRC2 entrants local driver Elfyn Evans and James Bond stunt man Mark Higgins were eighth and tenth respectably whilst the big name pairing of Tony Jardine and Amy Williams finished an impressive 26th place in their first World Rally event together.

All images © Dominik Wilde 2013 all rights reserved

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