World champion Sebastien Ogier has capped another triumphant year with a third successive victory in the season-ending Wales Rally GB.
The Frenchman, behind the wheel of his VW Polo-R, finished 26 seconds ahead of Kris Meeke, with the Briton’s Citroen teammate Andreas Mikkelsen of Norway completing the podium at 36.2sec on Sunday.
It was the eighth win of the season and 32nd in total for 31-year-old Ogier, who won his third world title in September.
Volkswagen finished atop the manufacturers’ championship, while Meeke’s second place and seventh position for Norway’s Mads Ostberg gave Citroen the runners-up spot ahead of Hyundai.
Ogier’s VW teammate Jari-Matti Latvala won four stages on Sunday but finished far down the standings after crashing off the road in atrocious weather conditions on Friday and suffering technical problems Saturday.
But by picking up three bonus points in the final Power Stage (SS19) Latvala finished runner-up behind Ogier in the world championship.
Ogier matches retired compatriot Sebastien Loeb with a third straight Rally GB win after overcoming numerous obstacles over the weekend in a race which was hampered by heavy rain and high winds.
Meeke had taken the lead after SS11 when Ogier was forced to come to a standstill after Thierry Neuville rolled his Hyundai.
Race organisers deducted 31 seconds from Ogier’s time to compensate the delay which allowed the French driver to recapture the lead which he held until the finish line.