World champion Sebastien Ogier wins Rally of Germany
TRIER, Germany (AP) World champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally of Germany for the third time Sunday, extending his championship lead to 59 points.
Ogier, who claimed the lead Saturday when he crafted a 33.4-second advantage over Volkswagen teammate Andreas Mikkelsen, controlled his pace on the final four stages to win by 20.3 seconds from Hyundai driver Dani Sordo.
“This is great,” Ogier said after his first victory since the Rally of Sweden ended his six-event winless streak. “I haven’t had a chance to win on the recent rallies and I was missing that feeling for sure. It’s been really exciting and a long time since I was battling like this for a win. I really had to push to beat the guys around me.”
Sordo was involved in a three-way battle for second place with just 4.1 seconds separating the Spaniard from Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Mikkelsen of Norway going into the rally-ending Power Stage.
Neuville won the stage to claim three bonus points, Jari-Matti Latvala was second and Ogier third ahead of Sordo and Mikkelsen.
Sordo finished 0.1 seconds ahead of Neuville, while previous rally leader Mikkelsen had to settle for fourth place overall. Mikkelsen had 110 points after nine races. Four remain.
Stephane Lefebvre and co-driver Gabin Moreau’s race ended Saturday when they crashed heavily on the 40.8-kilometer Panzerplatte stage.