Motoring Insight Magazine Online

Sebastien Ogier wins Wales Rally GB after close fight with Latvala: The perfect end to a perfect season

Published: 18 November 2013

Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia drove victory in a nail biting finish that saw his teammate Jari-Matti Latvala finish 21.8 seconds behind in the Wales Rally GB.

It was a resounding success for Volkswagen Motorsport, with Andreas Mikkelsen also finishing fifth fastest. 

"This is the perfect end to a perfect season," explained Sébastien Ogier. "I am very happy, and extremely proud of this win, as the Rally Wales is one of the toughest on the calendar. Things have not always gone to plan here for me in recent years. We just tried to maintain the gap through to the finish today. 

"Now that the season is over, I can look back on what has really been an incredible year. If anyone had predicted before the start of the season that Julien and I would end up with nine wins and the World Championship title to our name, we would probably have sent him straight to the team doctor. I may already have thanked the team in France, but I simply cannot say thank you often enough: the team did a fantastic job in our debut year. They made this fantastic success possible by providing me with a magnificent car."

Jari-Matti Latvala, who finished second said: "Second place at the final round of the season is a decent result, but I had hoped for more at my ‘second home rally’. Our pace was basically okay, but unfortunately I made too many small mistakes to put Sébastien Ogier under any real pressure. I was really hungry to win this rally for a third time in a row, but Séb produced a perfect performance. When he is in this kind of mood, he is virtually unbeatable. Looking back on my first season with Volkswagen, it has definitely been a rollercoaster ride, but I now feel right home in the Polo R WRC. 

"It was clear from the outset that 2013 would be something of a learning year. The way the season started in Monte Carlo, Sweden and my home rally in Finland was hard to take. In contrast, however, were my long-awaited first win in Greece, a further seven podiums and winning the Manufacturers’ World Championship. On top of that, I now have the confidence that comes with starting next season with far more experience."

Andreas Mikkelsen, who spoke to Motortrades Insight earlier this year and was unable to take third due to the speeds of Ford''s Thierry Neuville and Mads Østberg, said: "All in all I am happy with the Rally Great Britain. However, I was obviously hoping for more after the good day yesterday. Having fought my way into fourth place yesterday, just 20 seconds behind Thierry Neuville, I tried to apply as much pressure from the word go today. But then the errors started to creep in and I spun twice. 

"Fifth place is definitely not a bad result in the World Rally Championship, and one you can always be proud of. But you have to say that we missed an opportunity here, given yesterday and the way today has panned out. Still, we can take a lot of positive things from our season. I am already looking forward to 2014, when we are determined to show just what we are capable of."

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