Article

Ogier holds off Loeb in Sweden

10 February 2013 15:24

Frenchman Sebastien Ogier has taken out Rally Sweden, the first World Rally Championship win for the new Volkswagen Polo R.

Ogier held a 26.9-second advantage over compatriot and nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb heading into the final day, and with Citroen driver Loeb victorious in the first three stages on Sunday, the gap was just 20.7 seconds.

But Ogier held firm under pressure, taking out the Kirkener 2 stage by 3.9 seconds and he increased his lead to 35.4 seconds after a Loeb mistake in the penultimate stage.

Ogier's victory in the power stage gave him the maximum 28 points, and a slender lead in the championship standings with two rallies completed.

Loeb finished 41.8 seconds behind Ogier in second place, followed by Mads Ostberg a further 42.7 seconds behind in his Qatar M-Sport Ford.

Jari-Matti Latvala was fourth in his VW, and Evgeny Novikov looked set for fifth until he rolled on Kirkener 2 and lost more than 10 minutes.

That allowed his Ford team-mate Thierry Neuville to finish in fifth place, more than five minutes behind Ogier.

It was Ogier's first win since the Rally of France in 2011.

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