Sébastien Ogier claims his fourth WRC title
Frenchman secures consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title with victory at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España
The Frenchman claimed his fifth victory of the year and 37th in his WRC career to seal the crown in his Volkswagen Polo R with two rallies to go. Spain’s Dani Sordo, driving a Hyundai i20, looked strong in contention for the win and led the four-day event initially but Ogier managed to get ahead of him once the rally switched from gravel to asphalt to win by 15.6sec.
32-year-old Ogier’s title charge was aided by an error from his team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen, who dramatically crashed out of third place on SS12. Mikkelsen had been Ogier's nearest challenger in the championship, but his failure to complete RallyRACC Catalunya meant Ogier needed only to score a point to claim a fourth-successive crown.
Sordo’s Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville maintained his strong run of form to take third in another i20 N, a further 59.4sec behind. Jari-Matti Latvala won the final live TV Power Stage to claim three bonus points in a Polo R. Ogier took two points for second while Sordo secured the final point.
Sébastien Ogier is only the third in the world to be crowned champion four years in a row in the pinnacle of rallying that is the WRC, and the fourth four-time world champion in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). He is now on a par with Juha Kankkunen (FIN) and Tommi Mäkinen (FIN). Only his compatriot, nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb (F) has more titles to his name.