Sebastien Ogier wins Rally of Australia by over a minute and a half
Last Updated: 15/09/13 8:45am
Sebastien Ogier: Set to clinch world title in France next month
Sebastien Ogier completed his domination of the Rally of Australia as he wrapped up a comfortable 93-second victory over Thierry Neuville.
The Frenchman won a remarkable 19 of the 22 stages to extend his lead over Neuville at the top of the World Rally Championship standings.
Belgium's Neuville kept the world title race alive by clinching second ahead of Mikko Hirvonen, who suffered a puncture on the final stage which saw him slip to third.
The Finn was significantly hampered by a flat left-rear tyre on his Citroen over the 29.44km run near Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, and his misfortune left Ogier just one point short of claiming the world title with three races still remaining.
"The team told me at the finish line that I had missed the title by one point because Mikko had a problem," Ogier said.
"The most important thing is that we did another perfect rally and we thought it was OK for the title, but it can't be written down yet.
"When you do a perfect job like that you expect to get it, but it's going to happen soon."
Hirvonen added: "I have absolutely no idea what happened. I drove in the middle of the road all the time and I can't understand how we got a puncture."
Hirvonen's fellow Finn Jari-Matti Latvala came home in fourth with Norway's Mads Ostberg rounding off the top five.
Ogier can now secure the world championship on home soil when he features in the 11th round in France early next month.