OGIER WINS, BUT EVERYBODY’S THOUGHTS WERE ELSEWHERE
Sébastien Ogier led the rally from start to finish and ended the season with his eighth victory marred by the tragic events in Paris. Kris Meeke scored a superb second place ensuring the same position for Citroën in the world manufacturers’ championship.
A sad final
It looked like there was going to be a close fight between the two Volkswagen drivers as Ogier was only 8/10th of a second in front of Latvala at the end of the first stage. However, in the second corner of the next one the Finn made a mistake that led to his elimination. Even if Meeke managed to hang on to the Frenchman throughout the first day, the latter gradually pulled away. The tragic events in Paris on Friday night cast a pall over the rest of the rally, which continued nevertheless. The three-time world champion, deeply affected by what had happened, did not make any mistakes and scored his third victory on the bounce in the Wales Rally GB. Meeke too put on a brilliant, faultless display, and did not wilt under the pressure exercised by Mikkelsen in the closing stages to clinch second place in front of the Volkswagen driver.
The two Hyundai drivers Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon, who were very consistent all weekend, saw the flag in fourth and fifth places despite being under constant threat from M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans. Mads Østberg went off in the 11th stage when he was battling with this group, but recovered to score the points awarded for seventh place consolidating the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s second position in the manufacturers’ championship. The French make had other reasons to be satisfied as Norwegian driver, Veiby, won in the Junior WRC and Quentin Gilbert wrapped up the title in WRC 3!
Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal):
“Now is not really the time for celebrating, given the circumstances. Obviously, our thoughts are with the victims of the Paris attacks. The sporting result is secondary, but i wish to say thank you and well done to the team for their hard work throughout the year. We have achieved all our targets with second place in the Manufacturers’ World Championship, a Junior WRC rally win and the WRC 3 title, which shows that we are still leading the way in promoting talented young drivers. I would also like to thank Mads Østberg, Jonas Andersson, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle for their commitment throughout the season”
Next round: Monte Carlo Rally (22-24 January 2016)