Sebastien Ogier defeated Citroen teammate Sebastien Loeb in a final day battle to win the Acropolis Rally of Greece.
Privateer Citroen driver Petter Solberg had been the man to beat on Friday, ending the first day’s stages with a 51.6 second gap over his nearest rivals.
However, the Norwegian struggled with running first on the road on Saturday, which allowed Ogier to catch him and take the lead during the afternoon. He then backed off in the day’s final stage, handing the overnight lead and road-sweeping duties to Loeb.
Loeb led Ogier by just 0.1s at the end of the final morning loop, but Ogier took the lead on the next stage and pulled away over the remaining two tests. He was 0.009s quicker than Loeb on the final power stage, claiming an extra three bonus points.
Mikko Hirvonen came through to finish in third place, ending the rally just three seconds behind Loeb. Solberg dropped to fourth place, with brother Henning next up, albeit nearly five minutes further back for M-Sport Stobart. Teammate Matthew Wilson was sixth, with Kimi Raikkonen seventh in his Ice 1 Citroen on his return to the rough stuff after his Nascar adventures.
Juho Hanninen won the SWRC category in eighth overall, benefiting when Ott Tanak rolled out of the category lead on Saturday morning.
Jari-Matti Latvala was Solberg’s nearest challenger on Friday until a broken driveshaft on the final stage of the day lost him three and a half minutes. Turbo problems on Saturday morning only left him further down the order but he recovered to finish ninth, 13 minutes down. Dennis Kuipers rounded out the top ten in his FERM Fiesta.
Problems for the remaining two M-Sport Fiestas of Mads Ostberg and Evgeny Novikov early on Friday left the pair superallying for the rest of the event.
Final top ten positions after 18 stages:
|1.||2||Sebastien Ogier||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||4:04:44.3|
|2.||1||Sebastien Loeb||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||+10.5|
|3.||3||Mikko Hirvonen||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+13.5|
|4.||11||Petter Solberg||PSWRT||Citroen DS3 WRC||+38.8|
|5.||15||Henning Solberg||M-Sport Stobart||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+5:24.7|
|6.||5||Matthew Wilson||M-Sport Stobart||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+6:54.7|
|7.||8||Kimi Raikkonen||Ice 1 Racing||Citroen DS3 WRC||+8:29.4|
|8.||25||Juho Hanninen||Red Bull Skoda||Skoda Fabia S2000||+11:34.7|
|9.||4||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+13:08.8|
|10.||9||Dennis Kuipers||FERM||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+15:10.1|