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2015-01-25 15:20


THE TWO SEBASTIENS: Only one could win the 2015 Monte Carlo rally and that was Sebastien Ogier (right) who led a VW 1-2-3. He's looking at Citroen's Sebastien Loeb who was eighth. Image: AP / Lionel Cironneau

MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Sebastien Ogier successfully defended his Monte Carlo Rally title on Sunday, winning the opening round of the World Rally championship with a masterful display in the snow and ice of the French Alps.

Double WRC title-holder Ogier, who saw off an initial challenge from returning10-times Monte Carlo winner Sebastien Loeb, eventually cruised home to win by 58sec from Finnish team mate Jari-Matti Latvala.


Driving a Volkswagen Polo R in the difficult, slippery conditions over the rally's four testing days, Ogier led home Latvala and Norway's Andreas Mikkelsen as the trio secured a podium sweep for the German automaker.

Ogier prevailed after some tremendous early battles with his illustrious compatriot Loeb who was making a single appearance after a 15-month absence, over the first seven special stages, until the nine-times champion hit a rock and broke his Citroen DS 3's rear suspension.

Ogier, who is hunting a third consecutive global crown, held a 43sec lead going into the final day and, though controlling his pace with safe tyre choices, still extended his lead to seal his third Monte Carlo triumph.

"Winning Monte Carlo means a lot for every driver, but especially for me," Ogier told the official World Rally website. "It's the most important rally of the season. The weather makes it a huge challenge but the satisfaction is great when you make it.

"This event had the best atmosphere I’ve experienced on a rally," added Ogier, who grew up near the host town of Gap. "When I drove the stage close to my home village the atmosphere was magical."

Ogier's previous wins in the tiny principality were in 2009, when the rally was part of the International Rally Challenge, and in 2014.

The next event in the 2015 WRC season will be on the snow-covered roads of Sweden.

Result from the 2015 Monte Carlo Rally

1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen 3hr36min40.2
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen +00min58.0
3 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen+02min12.3
4 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen +02min43.6
5 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai +03min12.1
6 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai +03min12.9
7 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Ford +05min23.7
8 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen +08min34.7
9 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Ford +09min54.8
10 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen +10min55.6

Leg 3 Classification
1 Sebastien Ogier (France)Volkswagen 3hr00min39.9
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen +00min42.8
3 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen 01min49.8
4 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen 02min42.8
5 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai 03min16.1
6 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai 03min20.8
7 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Ford 04min51.7
8 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Ford 08min17.5
9 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen 09min02.2
10 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen 10min06.0

Read more on:    vw  |  citroen  |  sebastien loeb  |  sebastien ogier  |  monaco

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