PHOTO: Sebastien Ogier punches through a water crossing on his way to victory in Coates Hire Rally Australian (Neil Blackbourn pic)
COFFS COAST (NSW) – Sebastien Ogier of France won Coates Hire Rally Australia and his third straight FIA World Rally Championship here today.
The Volkswagen driver finished 12.3 seconds ahead of teammate Jari-Matti Latvala, with Citroen’s Kris Meeke a further 20.3 sec. behind in third place.
Ogier’s third victory Down Under also ensured world championship hat-tricks for co-driver Julien Ingrassia and manufacturer Volkswagen.
His 31st career victory was another flawless performance for the driver who has dominated since Volkswagen joined the WRC in 2013.
“So far it’s an amazing season. It’s the best I’ve ever done,” he said after the end-of-rally Power Stage, which he also won.
“It was for sure the most difficult rally to open the roads, so it’s perfect to get this win for the third time.”
Sebastien Ogier (Volkswagen Polo R)
Jari-Matti Latvala (Volkswagen Polo R) +12.3 sec
Kris Meeke (Citroen DS3) +32.6
Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen Polo R) +38.5
Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20) +55.1
Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS) +1:38.0
Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20) +2:08.3
Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20) +2:15.2
Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta RS) +4:33.7
Nasser al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC) +11:46.5
Driver standings after Rd 10:
Sebastien Ogier 235
Jari-Matti Latvala 134
Andeas Mikkelsen 111
Mads Ostberg 90
Thierry Neuville 86