By Rosie Ogden
With three rallies still to come on the 2015 calendar, Volkswagen are World Rally Champions for the third year in a row, following a win in Australia for Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia whose victory also secured the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ World Championship titles for the third consecutive year.
The French duo finished the 17 stages on the Coffs Coast just 12.3 seconds ahead of their Finnish teammates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila, with Citroën’s British driver Kris Meeke, co-driven by Ireland’s Paul Nagle a further 20.3 seconds behind in third place.
Ogier went into the final 68.76 kilometres of the rally just two car lengths ahead of Meeke but over the course of the final day’s five special stages, extended his lead to 32.6 seconds. Despite a spirited drive, Latvala, who started the last Leg a mere 2.6 seconds off the lead, eventually came home 12.3 seconds behind Ogier.
His 31st career victory was another flawless performance for the driver who has dominated the championship since Volkswagen joined the WRC in 2013.
“So far it’s an amazing season. It’s the best I’ve ever done,” Ogier said after the end-of-rally Power Stage, which he also won.
Overall Final Classification:
S Ogier/J Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:59:164
J-M Latvala/M Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +12.3
K Meeke/P Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +32.6
A Mikkelsen/O Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +38.5
H Paddon/J Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +55.o
O Tanak/R Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:38..0
T Neuville/N Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:08.3
D Sordo/M Martí (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:15.2
E Evans/D Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:33.7
N Al-Attiyah/M Baumel (Ford Fiesta RRC) +11:46.5
2015 FIA World Rally Championship – Drivers:
S Ogier 235 points
J-M Latvala 134
A Mikkelsen 111
M Østberg 90
T Neuville 86
K Meeke 71
E Evans 63
O Tanak 62
H Paddon 56
D Sordo 56
2015 FIA World Rally Championship – Manufacturers:
Volkswagen Motorsport 343 points
Hyundai Motorsport 177
Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 164
M-Sport World Rally Team 148
Volkswagen Motorsport II 76