WRC: Ogier claims thrilling win at Rally Sweden

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Sebastien Ogier has extended his lead at the top of the FIA World Rally Championship standings by claiming a last-gasp victory in Rally Sweden today.

The iconic snowy stages played host to one of the most exciting finishes to a WRC event in years as Ogier, Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen entered the final stage separated by just 4.6 seconds in total.

All three drivers had led the rally at some point over the past four days, but it was Mikkelsen who appeared to be poised to clinch his first ever WRC win as they entered the 21st and final stage of the rally.

However, the Dane came unstuck on the final 15.9km stage after getting bogged down on a snow bank, costing him half a minute. He eventually had to settle for third place in the final classification.

Ogier took full advantage of Mikkelsen’s error to clinch his second win of the year, following on from his victory at the first event of the year in Monte Carlo. The final gap to Neuville at the flag was 6.4 seconds.

“This was one of the most exciting WRC events,” Ogier said. “It’s a crazy win because I had to push flat out from the beginning of the rally to the end.

“My first win here two years ago was a hard fight, but I had to play everything here in the final stage and it was a fantastic end. Andreas did a great job and he’s very young so we’ll have many more future battles.”

Disappointed to have squandered his opportunity, Mikkelsen was a man of few words following the rally.

“We gave it all in the last stage, but there was a bank full of snow and we were stuck,” he said. “We tried and hopefully we’ll get more luck next time.”

The WRC resumes in three weeks time with Rally Mexico.

Indy Lights: Askew wins at Gateway as Veekay’s tires wear off

Indy Lights
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For the fourth consecutive race, Oliver Askew is an winner in Indy Lights competition, and with only four races reaming in the 2019 season, the 22-year-old Floridian is on the cusp of winning his first series championship.

After starting Saturday’s 75-lap event at World Wide Technology Raceway from the pole position, Askew was quickly passed by Rinus Veekay on the first lap. However, Askew continued to follow VeeKay closely before retaking the lead on lap 53, a lead which he would not relinquish through the checkered flag.

“I think our car was just better,” Askew told NBC Sports after winning his seventh race of the season.

“I understood that from the beginning that he [VeeKay] had more straight line speed than us, so he was more trimmed out, and I knew that he was going to lose his tires at the end, and he did.

“I just had to keep the pressure on and wait for my opportunity.”

With his victory, Askew now extends his lead over VeeKay in the point standings by 52 points.

For Veekay, who held on to finish second, the fight to remain in the title race will not be an easy one.

“I’ll try everything I can but it’s been very tough,” VeeKay said. “The team and I, we’re giving it all we have. That’s all we can do.”

Daivd Malukas finished third, while Ryan Norman and and Robert Mcgennis finished fourth and fifth, respectfully.

Dalton Kellett took the checkered flag where he started in the sixth position, and Lucas Kohl finished the race in the seventh position.

Toby Sowery finished the race in the eighth and final position after bringing out the lone caution of the race by spinning in Turn 2 on lap 12.

Indy Lights drivers and teams will now head out to the Pacific Northwest for a double header at Portland International Raceway on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results 

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