WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier crashes from the lead on final stage

Andreas Mikkelsen clinched his maiden World Rally Championship victory at Rally Catalunya, after his Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier crashed on the final stage of the weekend

WRC Rally Catalunya: Ogier crashes from the lead on final stage

Ogier, who had to regain the lead twice on Friday, remained untouchable for the majority of the rally as early challengers Mads Ostberg and Robert Kubica fell by the wayside.

The Frenchman headed into the final powerstage with a seemingly unassailable lead of 50.9s over Mikkelsen.

Mikkelsen came through the powerstage 1.7s faster than Jarti-Matti Latvala, and Ogier was expected to make it to the stage end, calmly and unscathed, but disaster struck.

Coming out of a left-hander Ogier made contact with the barrier on the outside, losing a wheel and the win in the process.

Ogier's mishap not only promoted Mikkelsen to his first win but also moved Dani Sordo up to third at his home event.

Mikkelsen had been battling with Latvala for the majority of the rally for second.

Latvala dropped behind both Mikkelsen and Sordo following a puncture early in the rally, but he leapfrogged the pair of them after setting a blistering time on SS16 where he was 5s up on everyone.

Latvala's puncture woes struck again on SS21 though and he lost nine seconds to Mikkelsen, which once again dropped him behind his team-mate.

The Finn however clawed back 6.7s on the penultimate stage of the day, meaning the gap going into the powerstage was down to just 1.4s.

Citroen team-mates Ostberg and Kris Meeke fought hard over sixth place for most of the rally.

Ostberg led the way but Meeke did get the jump on him after gradually closing in on the Norwegian for a number of stages.

But all of Meeke's hard work was wasted when he spun on SS19, eventually finishing the rally only 1.9s down on Ostberg in fourth.

Hayden Paddon held onto sixth, after Thierry Neuville hit trouble on the final two stages.

The Belgian had to contend with a broken driveshaft on the penultimate stage before having an off on the powerstage, which meant he limped home down in eighth overall behind Martin Prokop.

In WRC2, third-in-class was enough for Nasser Al-Attiyah to secure this year's title.

RALLY RESULT

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