Sebastien Ogier victorious at Monte Carlo Rally

24 Jan 2016 15:23

World champion Sebastien Ogier has completed a hat-trick of Monte Carlo Rally victories.

The Volkswagen Polo R driver got the better of team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen on Sunday to win the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Championship.

Ogier triumphed in the four-day event on snow, ice and clear asphalt roads in the French Alps by one minute 54.5 seconds.

"It's fantastic," the Frenchman told "This rally is the most important of the season for me. It's so emotional to be able to do it here in Monte Carlo.

"I'm very happy. I have to thank my team and especially my gravel crew - they've done a great job. The car was perfect. I'm so happy to take this win for Volkswagen."

Thierry Neuville finished a further 1min 23.4secs back in third in Hyundai's new-specification i20, despite limping through the final speed tests with a transmission problem.

Ogier also won the closing live TV Power Stage to claim three bonus points. Dani Sordo took two points for second in his i20, while Mikkelsen claimed the final point in third.

Britain's Kris Meeke, who was the only driver to mount a challenge to Ogier on day one, retired during a dramatic day on Saturday after going off the road in the second pass through the St Leger les Melezes-La Batie Neuve speed test and damaging a gearbox.