Sebastien Ogier clinched his third consecutive FIA World Rally Championship crown on Sunday by claiming an unlikely victory in Rally Australia.
The unique nature of the running order for the rally meant that Ogier often had to contend with the worst conditions on the gravel stages, running ahead of his rivals to leave them with a cleaner course.
This had allowed Citroen’s Kris Meeke to move into the lead, but an incorrect tire call on Saturday caused the Briton to drop back and hand the advantage back to Ogier.
A perfect Sunday saw Ogier win the rally by 12.3 seconds from Volkswagen teammate Jari-Matti Latvala and clinch his third consecutive world championship in emphatic fashion.
“It’s an amazing season, the best I’ve ever done,” Ogier said. “No mistakes, so many great performances and this one is once again a very high one.
“It’s the most difficult rally to open the road and still we managed to win. It’s the perfect way to get my third title.”
Latvala extended his advantage for second place in the drivers’ championship by completing a VW one-two in Australia, whilst Meeke recovered from his setback to score his second podium finish of the year in third.
Andreas Mikkelsen was unable to join his VW teammates on the podium, finishing fourth overall. However, the German marque’s success was enough to clinch it the manufacturers’ championship ahead of Hyundai. Ogier’s co-driver, Julien Ingrassia, also won his respective title in Australia.
New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon took full advantage of his promotion to the Hyundai A-team for the weekend to finish fifth overall, and was followed home by Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville. Dani Sordo, Elfyn Evans and Nasser Al-Attiyah rounded out the top ten.
The WRC returns at the beginning of October with the Rallye de France in Corsica.
Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.
“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”
With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.
In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).
Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.
“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”
NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.
Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)
450 Class Championship Standings
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)