Italy WRC: Sebastien Ogier clinches fourth victory of 2013

Sebastien Ogier extended his World Rally Championship lead to 64 points as he wrapped up a fourth maximum score by winning Rally Italy

Italy WRC: Sebastien Ogier clinches fourth victory of 2013

Volkswagen's team leader looked untouchable from the outset in Sardinia. Ogier was taking things carefully as early as the second loop, and still managed to extend his lead to over a minute by halfway through Saturday.

As has been the case with all his victories this year, Ogier also grabbed all three powerstage bonus points.

Second and third ultimately went to Thierry Neuville and Jari-Matti Latvala after excellent charging drives. Neuville had been a quiet fifth early on before surging forward with a gaggle of stage wins, while Latvala had to mount a comeback charge having lost two minutes with an SS1 puncture.

They were the survivors of a once-close podium battle that Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen and Neuville's M-Sport team-mates Evgeny Novikov and Mads Ostberg all crashed out of.

Dani Sordo faded from this group to take fourth for Citroen, although it might have been fifth had VW's Andreas Mikkelsen not broken his suspension while giving chase three stages from the end.

On his World Rally Car debut, WRC Academy champion Elfyn Evans took an incredible sixth. The Welshman was standing in for an indisposed Nasser Al-Attiyah, and spent the event battling with Michal Kosciuszko, who was in his first rally with a Ford having split with Motorsport Italia's Mini operation.

In a very tense decider, Evans hold on to a top-six finish by just 0.6s over the Pole.

Ostberg managed to salvage eighth having rejoined for Saturday under Rally 2.

Robert Kubica claimed a second consecutive dominant win in WRC 2.

Leading finishers after SS16: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier VW 3h22m57.9s 2. Thierry Neuville M-Sport Ford +1m16.8s 3. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +1m48.0s 4. Dani Sordo Citroen +3m19.2s 5. Martin Prokop Czech Ford +8m34.1s 6. Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ford +11m51.8s 7. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Ford +11m52.7s 8. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Ford +13m21.5s 9. Robert Kubica PH Citroen +16m47.6s* 10. Khalid Al Qassimi Citroen +17m19.9s Other WRC finishers: 13. PG Andersson AT Ford +24m38.8s * WRC 2 Retirements: Andreas Mikkelsen VW SS14 Mikko Hirvonen Citroen SS10 Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford SS2 Leading powerstage times: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier VW 13m03.6s 2. Thierry Neuville M-Sport Ford +1.0s 3. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +4.5s 4. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Ford +30.8s 5. PG Andersson AT Ford +35.6s 
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Rally Italy: Ogier cruising towards victory, Hirvonen crashes

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Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier
Author Matt Beer
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