Day 4: Sébastien Ogier (VW) wins the 50 RallyRACC and secures his second World title
After a four-day race that have seen moments of high expectation and intensity, the French duo of Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) achieved the victory of the 50 RallyRACC Catalunya-COSTA DAURADA, Rally de España 2014. Their success at the Salou podium was in fact double, as it allowed the French pair to secure the Drivers and Co-drivers World Rally Championship 2014, keeping the title they won a year ago. In the manufacturers championship, Volkswagen Motorsport had already secured the title two rounds ago.
The four days of the 50 RallyRACC were completely different, which confirms the Spanish race as completely unpredictable. From the 65 cars that started, 56 were able to be in the final classification. On Thursday 23, the urban stage in Barcelona was held. It was a great show for the crow and more than 20,000 spectators followed it live, creating very beautiful images. The stage was won by the Norwegian driver Andreas Mikkelsen (VW).
On Friday the stages were held on grave. It was a very difficult day that caused trouble to many drivers and where four different drivers set a fastest time. In the end it was Sébastien Ogier (VW) who took the lead with a small advantage over his team mate Jari-Matti Latvala.
On Saturday, the first competitive day on tarmac, the main star was Latvala, who set four fastest times of the six up for grabs, with Ogier and Mikkelsen taking the other two. The Norwegian was the best in the two urban stages of the race.
Finally, on Sunday, with the places already firmly settled, the Volkswagen Motorsport team managed its advantage, with Latvala setting the fastest times in all the stages, also taking the additional 3 points of the power stage.
Good Spanish performance
Dani Sordo-Marc Martí (Hyundai i20 WRC), the local heroes, were not able to be on the podium of the 50 RallyRACC, which was their aim. At the beginning they had some trouble with the set-up and as the rally advanced, they improved their times, though they were already too far back and had to settle for the fifth place.
The other Spanish drivers participating also had a good performance, especially Xevi Pons-Alex Haro (Ford Fiesta R5), who despite retiring due to an off-track in the second-to-last stage, battled during the whole race for the first WRC2 places. Joan Carchat-Claudi Ribeiro (Mitsubishi Evo X) also shone, taking the second Production place, as well as Josep Maria Membrado-Jordi Vilamala (Mitsubishi Evo X), who were third in their class. Excellent win at the Dmack Fiesta Trophy for Nil Solans-Miquel Ibáñez (Ford Fiesta R2), a perfect end for his World Championship season.
Seb Ogier, a short biography of the World Champion
The now two-times 2014 World Champion, Sébastien Ogier, was born in Gap (France, on December 17th, 1983. His second Drivers title arrives at the end of his second season with Volkswagen. His win at the 50 Rally RACC is 23rd victory, 16th with his current team after participating in 83 rallys where he has set 309 fastest times in the stages and has won 17 Power Stages.
Ogier arrived in the World Championship in 2008, taking the Junior World Championship title with a Citroën C2 S1600, after achieving some other victories in French championships. That year he participated in his first WRC round, as a reward for the Junior title, in Wales. With Citroën he also achieved his first WRC win, at the 2010 Portugal Rally.
The high point of the 50 editions
After the award ceremony, a moving photo was taken with the winners of this 50th edition and their car, together with the drivers that won the first edition, which was held from June 28 to 30, 1057: The current RACC President, Sebastià Salvadó, and "Milano" (Guillermo Bas), both with the Alfa Romeo 1900 S they used to win the 1st Catalunya Rally.
With the 2015 Calendar already decided, the 51 RallyRACC edition will take place from October 22 to 25 of the next year.
Final classification of the 50 RallyRACC
1-Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC), 3h46'44"6
2-Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC), +11"3
3-Mikko Hirvonen-Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +1'42"2
4-Mads Ostberg-Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC), +2'13"3
5-Dani Sordo-Marc Martí (Hyundai i20 WRC), +2'22"2
6-Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC), +4'01"0
7-Andreas Mikkelsen-Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC), +4'02"9
8-Martin Prokop-Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +8'06"8
9-Hayden Paddon-John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC), +9'12"4
10-Nasser Al Attiyah-Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RRC, 1th WRC2), +12'39"8
11-Yuriy Protasov-Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +12'40"4
Etc. until 56 classified.