SALOU, Spain (AFP) – Eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier claimed his 55th career victory with the Rally of Catalunya on Sunday as this season’s overall winner Kalle Rovanpera finished third.
Frenchman Ogier, 38, who claimed the last of his drivers’ championships successes last year, has chosen to compete in just five of this season’s 13 rallies.
He edged Belgian Thierry Nevuille by 16.4sec in second and Finn Rovanpera, who won the world title earlier this month in New Zealand, was 34.5sec slower.
Ogier, who was in the car alongside co-driver Benjamin Veillas, continues to trail compatriot Sebastien Loeb’s record of 80 wins.
The combined performances of Ogier and Rovanpera helped Toyota to the manufacturers’ title before the final rally of the season in Japan which starts on November 10.
“It’s Benji’s first win so I am very happy for him,” Ogier said.
“It’s fantastic to get this win because it was an important weekend for the team.
“It’s not always easy to achieve such results and this season has been very dominant, so congratulations to Toyota,” he added.