Sebastien Ogier won the Jordan Rally by just 0.2 seconds after defeating Jari-Matti Latvala on the final stage in the World Rally Championship's closest ever finish.
Oger entered the second and final day of the rally, which got underway a day late when logistical delays forced the cancellation of Thursday's action, with an advantage of 31.6 seconds. He had built this up on the final stage of Friday when closest rivals Sebastien Loeb and Latvala backed off to ensure a good road position.
Despite running first on the road Ogier was able to maintain a margin of 18.9 seconds over Latvala over the morning loop of stages. Latvala pushed harder on the afternoon loop to take the lead going into the final stage, only for Ogier to win the final stage and take the win by a margin of 0.2 seconds. The win on the final power stage also gave Ogier three bonus points to add to the 25 he took for the victory.
Loeb remained in the hunt for the victory during the morning stages but settled for third with handling issues. Petter Solberg had been fourth until he crashed out on the opening stage of the second day. This gave fourth to Mikko Hirvonen, who had suffered with running first on the road on Friday.
Kimi Raikkonen had been set to finish fifth in his Ice 1 Citroen until a puncture on the penultimate stage dropped him to sixth, behind M-Sport Stobart driver Matthew Wilson. Federico Villagra was seventh, ahead of fellow Fiesta RS WRC drivers Khalid Al Qassimi and Dennis Kuipers.
Bernardo Sousa took the final point, his first in the WRC, as well as the SWRC win in his S2000 Fiesta. This came after Nasser Al Attiyah was forced to retire from the category lead with engine problems.
Loeb’s third place has given him a two point lead over Hirvonen at the head of the drivers’ standings. Ogier’s second consecutive win puts him just five points behind Loeb, with Latvala only three points further back.
Top ten positions after SS20:
|1.||Sebastien Ogier||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||2:48:28.2|
|2.||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+0.2|
|3.||Sebastien Loeb||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||+27.7|
|4.||Mikko Hirvonen||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+2:44.7|
|5.||Matthew Wilson||M-Sport Stobart||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+5:44.9|
|6.||Kimi Raikkonen||Ice 1 Racing||Citroen DS3 WRC||+6:14.9|
|7.||Federico Villagra||Munchi's||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+9:18.7|
|8.||Khalid Al Qassimi||Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+9:43.7|
|9.||Dennis Kuipers||Ferm||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+14:27.5|
|10.||Bernardo Sousa||Quinta do Lorde||Ford Fiesta S2000||+15:05.5|