Ogier successfully defends rally world title
SALOU, Spain (AP) — Sebastien Ogier of France clinched his second consecutive rally world title after winning the Rally of Spain on Sunday.
Ogier held off Volkswagen Polo teammate and title rival Jari-Matti Latvala through the event’s final day to successfully defend his title with one race to go.
“It’s a great achievement to win one title but even better to take a second,” said Ogier. “It’s a confirmation and proves the first title was not a one-off.”
Ogier stayed 11.3 seconds ahead of Latvala, who needed to overtake him to keep the title in doubt until the season-ending Wales Rally.
The 30-year-old Ogier became the eighth rider to win multiply titles.
The Frenchman opened a 36-second lead after Friday’s gravel stages and held off Latvala through the final two days on asphalt in the northeastern region of Catalonia.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend, but it was tough,” Ogier said. “I pushed so hard on leg one and it was a long two days on tarmac where I had to watch Jari-Matti flying. I had to be clever and keep watching him all the time.”
His win in Spain was Ogier’s 23rd career victory and Volkswagen’s 11th of the season, tying the record set by Citroen in 2005 and 2008.
The Wales Rally starts Nov. 13.