VICTORY IN WALES: Driver Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia, both from France, raced to victory at the 2015 Welsh Rally 2015 in Deeside, Wales. Image: AP / Nigel French
Cardiff, United Kingdom - World champion Sebastien Ogier capped another triumphant in 2015 with an emotional third successive victory in the season-ending 2015 Wales Rally GB on Sunday.
Ogier, behind the wheel of his VW Polo-R, finished 26 seconds ahead of Kris Meeke, with the Citroen team mate Andreas Mikkelsen of Norway completing the podium at 36.2sec.
Race mared by terror attacks
Ogier referring to Friday night's terror attacks in his native France which killed 129 people: "We're happy to finish the season like that from a sporting view, but my mind wasn't really there this weekend. It was hard to carry on after the tragedy in France and our thoughts were with the people. We wanted this victory as our small sign for those who have been touched, and to show we must be even stronger against these things."
It was the eighth win of the season and 32nd in total for Ogier, who won his third world title in September.
Ogier said: "Victory here is the best way to finish the season but there is no point to celebrate anything. We have other things on our mind. It has been a difficult weekend."
Volkswagen finished atop the manufacturers' championship, while Meeke's second place and seventh position for Norway's Mads Ostberg gave Citroen the runners-up spot ahead of Hyundai.
'I never believed in victory'
Meeke said: "I never believed in victory, I think that Ogier had it all in hand but I'm very satisfied to get on the podium for the first time in 'my' rally."
Ogier's VW team mate Jari-Matti Latvala won four stages on Sunday but finished far down the standings after crashing off the road in atrocious weather conditions on Friday and suffering technical problems Saturday.
By picking up three bonus points in the final Power Stage (SS19) Latvala finished runner-up behind Ogier in the world championship. Ogier matches retired compatriot Sebastien Loeb with a third straight Rally GB win after overcoming numerous obstacles in a race which was hampered by heavy rain and high winds.
Meeke had taken the lead after SS11 when Ogier was forced to come to a standstill after Thierry Neuville rolled his Hyundai.
Race organisers deducted 31 seconds from Ogier's time to compensate the delay which allowed the French driver to recapture the lead which he held until the finish line.