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Ogier wins his first WRC title

2013-10-04 12:50

ANOTHER SEB CROWNED CHAMP: Sebastien Ogier dominated 2013 to clinch his first WRC title. He joins the ranks of Loeb (nine-times WRC champ), Vettel (three-times F1 champ) as yet another famous Sebastien/ian in motorsport. Image: AFP

PARIS, France - Volkswagen driver Sebastien Ogier has won his first World Rally title on the opening day of the 2013 Rally of France. Ogier earned his title after rival Thierry Neuville failed to win the opening special stage.

Video: 2013 WRC season wrap - Sebastien Ogier

Ogier started the event with an 83-point championship lead over second-placed Neuville and can mathematically no longer be caught. Neuville needed to collect the maximum 84 points from the three remaining rallies and the opening power stages of each rally but finished second behind Dani Sordo in Strasbourg.

'STARTED FROM SCRATCH'


Ogier finished third in the power stage, 0.1sec behind Neuville and 0.8 behind Sordo. Ogier said: "Before the stage, I was a bit confused about whether it would happen but we're here and we managed to do it. Now I will be able to be aggressive all the weekend because our goal has been reached. It has been an ideal season for all the team.

"In 2012 we started from scratch and now, our first season, we're World champion. We will now focus on the rest of the weekend. What's important for (the team) is the team title. I will do everything I can to get them points."

Volkswagen tops the Manufacturers' standings with 299 points, 48 more than defending champion Citroen.

'HE DESERVES IT'


He takes over the World crown from compatriot and record nine-times champion Sebastien Loeb. Loeb said: "He deserves it, he has had a great season."

Ogier, who enjoyed some outstanding performances with a Junior category car in 2009, made his debut at Citroen World Team in 2010 and was quickly regarded as Loeb's main competitor. The two were eventually paired at Citroen in 2011 and their rivalry took a bitter turn with the outspoken and proud Ogier refusing to behave as number two in the team.

Ogier finished third in the standings in 2011 although he won as many races as champion Loeb who remained Citroen's first choice when the automaker settled the dispute by parting ways with one of them. It forced Ogier to make a fresh start at Volkswagen. He was tipped as the season's favourite when Loeb announced he would not compete in all the races.

Ogier met expectations with an all but perfect year, winning six out of the first 10 races and finishing second behind Loeb but ahead of all other contenders in Monte Carlo and Argentina.

The France Rally is the third last race of the 2013 season, with only Spain and Britain remaining.
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