Ogier wins Rallye France, Solberg excluded
- 3rd October 2011, 10:00am
Ogier made the most of Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb's exit with an engine problem, and added 26 points to his championship tally (25 points for his victory and one point for a stage win). Loeb now leads Ogier in the title race by just three points with two rallies remaining.
Dani Sordo was perhaps the surprise packet of the rally, bringing his MINI John Cooper Works WRC home in second place, his second podium finish in just four appearances for the MINI.
Norwegian Petter Solberg battled hard all event and was fighting for the lead early on in the rally before a puncture dropped him back to third. Solberg showed good speed in his privately-run Citroen and eventually finished the rally third outright only to be excluded after the event as the car was deemed to be under the weight requirements.
Solberg's exclusion handed third place to Ford driver, Mikko Hirvonen, who has probably gained the most from the event. The extra three points he earned from moving from fourth into third now sees him equal Championship leader with Loeb.
Hirvonen's team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, finished fourth. Dutchman Dennis Kuipers claimed the best-ever finish by a Dutchman on a WRC event with his fifth place.
RESULTS RALLYE DE FRANCE ALSACE:
1 S. OGIER, CITROEN, 3:06:20.4 0.0
2 D. SORDO, MINI, 3:06:26.7 +6.3
3 M. HIRVONEN, FORD, 3:09:47.0 +3:20.3
4 J. LATVALA, FORD, 3:09:50.7 +3.7
5 D. KUIPERS, FORD, 3:13:02.4 +3:11.7
6 H. SOLBERG, FORD, 3:13:28.7 +26.3
7 M. ØSTBERG, FORD, 3:14:18.7 +50.0
8 K. BLOCK, FORD, 3:14:45.9 +27.2
9 P. CAMPANA, MINI, 3:14:59.1 +13.2
10 M. WILSON, FORD, 3:16:21.2 +1:22.1
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