A round-up of some of the best images from the WRC's latest action.
At more than seven million square kilometres, Australia is the largest country visited by the WRC. This photo perfectly sums up that mind-numbing factoid as Mikko Hirvonen (spot him if you can) blazes a trail of dust on a stage through the lush New South Wales terrain.
Sebastien Ogier celebrates his sixth victory from ten rallies. The VW driver needs just one point from the final three rounds to lift his first title and it would take a raving idiot (or ‘dill’, as the Australians like to say) to bet against him achieving it in his home round in France next month.
Thierry Neuville’s terrific run of results continued in Australia with an admittedly fortuitous second place – his fifth podium finish in a row. It’s a result that means, for now, Sebastien Ogier can’t quite sign his name ‘2013 WRC Champion’…
Mikko Hirvonen came close to equalling his season’s best result of second only for his left-rear tyre to shred on the final stage. He lost more than a minute and fell to third. The man to benefit was Thierry Neuville who inherited second to deny the Seb Ogier the title for the moment…
It didn’t get any better for Citroen on the final stage. After rejoining following a roll on Saturday, Kris Meeke then tore off the right-rear wheel and tyre. The three-wheeled DS3 still made stage end but was in no fit state for the following road section to the official finish so failed to score.
Jari-Matti Latvala finds the best way to wash all that Rally Australia dust off his VW Polo. The event was something of a test session for the Finn who concentrated on manufacturers' points for VW and honing his Polo's set-up for fast gravel rallies. He finished fourth.
Mads Ostberg takes a look at the opposition, namely one of the VW Polos. But Ostberg’s M-Sport Fiesta was very much a match for the German cars, finishing fifth overall just behind Jari-Matti Latvala’s Polo and ahead of the latter’s team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen.
Andreas Mikkelsen led a WRC event for the first time when he came out on top on Rally Australia’s two opening Coffs Harbour stages on the Thursday night. It was a great way to get started with new co-driver Paul Nagle (standing in for the injured Mikko Markkula). They eventually finished sixth.
More than 17,000 kilometres from home in Northern Ireland, Kris Meeke still found his fan club out in force to cheer him on in his second ‘one off’ outing for Citroen. Sadly a possible dream result – he was fastest in qualifying and ran second early on – ended in despair when he rolled his DS3.