Ogier wins Rally of France

2011-10-02 14:13

Haganeau - Sebastien Ogier, at the wheel of a Citroen DS3, rekindled his bid for a first world championship title by winning the Rally of France at home here on Sunday.

Overnight leader Ogier finished six seconds ahead of Spaniard Dani Sordo in a Mini Cooper with Norway's Petter Solberg third, over a minute off the pace in another Citroen DS3.

The 27-year-old French driver was claiming his seventh rally victory and closes the gap to just three points on overall leader Sebastien Loeb, who hails from Haganeau, with just two races left this season in Spain and Britain.

Loeb, chasing an eighth world title, was forced out of this 11th leg of the season after his Citroen suffered engine problems on Friday.

The seven-time world champion has 196 points overall with Ogier and Finland's Mikko Hirvonen, who finished fourth in his Ford Fiesta, both on 193.

Ogier, who comes from Gap in southern France, won ten special stages and gained a bonus point by finishing third in the final Super Special stage 23 which was won by Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala.

It was his first win on home soil and his fifth this season after Portugal, Jordan, Greece nad Germany. Ogier also won in Portugal and Japan last year on his way to fourth place in the overall world championship series.

Mini are back competing in the world rally championship after a lengthy absence.

Standings after Sunday's final day of the Rally of France, the 11th round of the World Rally Championship:

1. Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Citroen DS3 3hr 06min 20.4sec, 2. Dani Sordo (ESP) Mini John Cooper Works at 6.3sec, 3. Petter Solberg (NOR) Citroen DS3 1:23.8, 4. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS 3:26.6, 5. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS 3:30.3, 6. Dennis Kuipers (NED) Ford Fiesta 6:42.0, 7. Henning Solberg (NOR) Ford Fiesta 7:08.3, 8. Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ford Fiesta 7:58.3, 9. Ken Block (USA) Ford Fiesta 8:25.5, 10. Pierre Campana (FRA) Mini John Cooper Works 8:38.7

Retirements: Sebastien Loeb (FRA/Citroen DS3), Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Citroen DS3), Kris Meeke (GBR) Mini Cooper, Daniel Oliveira (BRA) Mini Cooper, Armindo Araujo (POR) Mini Cooper

Stage winners: Ogier 10 (SS2, SS3, SS5, SS9, SS11, SS13 dead-heat, SS14, SS15, SS17, SS22 dead-heat), Latvala 7 (SS4, SS16, SS18, SS20, SS21, SS22 dead-heat, SS23), Sordo 4 (SS6 dead-heat, SS8, SS12, SS19), Solberg 4 (SS6 dead-heat, SS7, SS10, SS13 dead-heat), Loeb 1 (SS1)

Power Stage standings (SS23):

1. Latvala 3 pts, 2. Sordo 2 pts, 3. Ogier 1

Drivers' standings:

1. S. Loeb (FRA) 196pts, 2. S. Ogier (FRA) 193, . M. Hirvonen (FIN) 193, 4. J-M. Latvala (FIN) 126, 5. P. Solberg (NOR) 125, 6. M. Ostberg (NOR) 60, 7. M. Wilson (GBR) 52, 8. D. Sordo (ESP) 41, 9. H. Solberg (NOR) 38, 10. K. Raikkonen (FIN) 34, 11. F. Villagra (ARG) 20, 12. K. Al Qassimi (UAE) 15, 13. D. Kuipers (NED) 13, . J. Hanninen (FIN) 13, 15. H. Paddon (NZL) 10, 16. O. Tanak (EST) 7, . M. Prokop (CZE) 7, 18. P-G. Andersson (SWE) 6, . M. Kosciuszko (POL) 6, 20. A. Araujo (POR) 4, . O. Saliuk (UKR) 4, 22. P. Van Merksteijn (NED) 2, . B. Guerra (MEX) 2, . K. Block (USA) 2, 25. B. Sousa (POR) 1, . P. Flodin (SWE) 1, . P. Campana (FRA) 1

Constructors' standings:

1. Citroen Racing 372pts, 2. Ford 312, 3. Stobart-Ford 129, 4. Petter Solberg WRT 116, 5. Ice1Racing 48, 6. Munchi's-Ford 32, . Abu Dhabi-Ford 32, . FERM-Ford 32, 9. Monster-Ford 17, 10. Van Merksteijn Motorsport 12, 11. Brazil WRT 1