Ogier wraps up 2013 with win at Wales Rally GB

The Volkswagen driver caps off an incredible season in style with Welsh victory.
Sebastien Ogier goes through a water splash in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC at Wales Rally GB 2013
Sebastien Ogier dominated Wales Rally GB © Volkswagen Motorsport
By Greg Stuart

Sebastien Ogier has rounded off a dominant WRC season by claiming his ninth win of the year at Wales Rally GB.

The Frenchman led from the very first stage of the rally in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC, bringing his car home on Sunday 21.8s ahead of his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

M-Sport driver Thierry Neuville claimed third, while also securing second in the drivers’ championship ahead of Latvala, the young Belgian’s brilliant 2013 season in the Ford Fiesta RS eclipsed only by the mastery of this year’s champion, Sebastien Ogier.

Belgian Thierry Neuville jumps his Ford Fiesta RS WRC at Wales Rally GB 2013
Thierry Neuville came home in third © McKlein Image Database

Ostberg and Mikkelsen fight it out

Norwegian Mads Ostberg ended a frustrating season on a high, claiming fourth ahead of his compatriot Andreas Mikkelsen in the third Volkswagen Polo after pushing hard on the final two days.

Mikkelsen had been looking to take the fight to Thierry Neuville’s third position going into Sunday’s stages in an effort to make it an all-Volkswagen podium. But a spin on Stage 17 meant that the Norwegian had to settle for fifth, ahead of the Ford Fiesta WRC of Martin Prokop.

Citroen's Welsh woes

While Volkswagen was recording its second one-two of the team’s incredible return year to the WRC, it was an event to forget for Citroen.

Team leader Mikko Hirvonen flew home to Finland on Sunday morning to begin his Christmas holidays early after a massive crash on Friday caused by a missed pace note from co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen. The Finn may well have competed in his final rally for Citroen, with insiders tipping him for a return to the M-Sport squad that he left at the end of the 2011 season.

Spaniard Dani Sordo competing in his Citroen DS3 WRC on the Chirk Castle stage at Wales Rally GB 2013
Dani Sordo was the last remaining Citroen © Citroen Racing

Meanwhile ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica, in his first rally in full-on WRC machinery for Citroen, crashed heavily not once but twice, leaving just Dani Sordo to finish seventh for the French team.

Ogier a worthy champion

But Wales Rally GB 2013, as with the whole of the 2013 WRC season, will be remembered for the calm and controlled dominance of Sebastien Ogier, who looks to have well and truly picked up the mantle from nine-time champion and fellow countryman Sebastien Loeb.

“It’s really amazing, I’m so happy and a big thanks to the team,” said Ogier after climbing out of his Polo R having secured the win.

“It’s another great victory for us,” he added. “Just really a perfect season for us.”

The WRC will return next January, with the Rallye Monte Carlo kicking off the 2014 season.

Missed any action from Wales Rally GB? Catch up with our special video series here.

For full results from Wales Rally GB, head to WRC.com

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