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2013-10-08 07:44

HOME VICTORY FOR OGIER: VW driver Sebastien Ogier celebrated his first WRC title with a fantastic win in France. Image: AFP

Julien Pretot

PARIS, France – French driver Sebastien Ogier celebrated his first World title by winning his home WRC round after nine-times champion Sebastien Loeb crashed.

Ogier drove his Volkswagen Polo to victory in Alsace, 12.2 seconds ahead of Citroen’s Dani Sordo and 19.5sec ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala finished in third.

Video: 2013 WRC season wrap - Sebastien Ogier

On the first stage of the final day (October 10), Loeb's Citroen slid off the road and ended up on its roof in a ditch. The crash was an ignominious end for Loeb who won a record nine World titles between 2004 and 2012 with co-driver Daniel Elena.


Loeb said: "I lost the rear in a fast right corner and then we had a spin and I finished in the ditch. I would have preferred to have finished my last rally here but it didn't go according to plan.”

Loeb competed in only four rallies in 2013 after deciding not to defend his WRC title. He won the Monte Carlo and Argentinean Rally and was second in Sweden. Ogier succeeded Loeb as champion after his only rival, Thierry Neuville, failed to claim the power stage.

Ogier said: "There has been so much emotion this weekend.  After the excitement of winning the title on Thursday it was difficult to get back into the race but we couldn't stay like that all weekend and decided to react on October 5.

"We pushed to the maximum then and this morning (Sunday) we soon made a gap at the front. Then we had to bring the car home, which wasn't easy in the rain and mud. We started the story from zero with VW in 2012 and now we're close to the Manufacturers' title as well."

The penultimate rally of the 2013 season will be in Spain from October 24-27.

Results from the 2013 France Rally:

1 Sebastien Ogier (France) VW 2hr53min07.6
2 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Citroen +12.2
3 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) VW +19.5
4 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Ford +1min14.1
5 Evgeny Novikov (Russia) Ford +3min10.9
6 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Citroen +3min37.7
7 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) VW +4min04.2
8 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Ford +4min35.2
9 Robert Kubica (Poland) Citroen +9min31.4
10 Romain Dumas (France) Ford +11min55.8

Drivers’ and Constructor’ standings after the 2013 France Rally:

Drivers points

1 Sebastien Ogier (France) VW Motorsport - 238
2 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Qatar World Rally Team - 143
3 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) VW Motorsport - 125
4 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Abu Dhabi Citroen - 117
5 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 111
6 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Qatar World Rally Team - 81
7 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 68
8 Evgeny Novikov (Russia) Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team - 57
9 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Jipocar Czech - 49
10 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) VW Motorsport II - 40
11 Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) Qatar World Rally Team - 30
12 Robert Kubica (Poland) Lotos Dynamic Rally Team - 16
13 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Qatar World Rally Team 16
14 Bryan Bouffier (France) Bryan Bouffier - 10
15 Juho Haenninen (Finland) Qatar World Rally Team - 8

Constructors’ points
1 VW Motorsport - 339
2 Citroen - 259
3 Qatar Rally Team - 157
4 Qatar M-Sport Rally Team - 156
5 Abu Dhabi Citroen Rally Team - 59
6 Jipocar Czech National Team - 51
7 VW Motorsport II - 40
8 Lotos WRC Team - 20

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