After a great WRC Rally Australia, we take a look at the WRC in picture


We were at the WRC Cotes Hire Rally Australia – working with the event so we’ll have some great content coming up – here we have our WRC photo gallery.


Sebastien Ogier took a dominanw win taking all bar one stage wins


Mikko Hirvonen ran a solid second until a puncture in the final stage dropped him to third


The drivers and co drivers celebrate but Ogier would not take his title in Australia


Jari-Matti Latvala and Julian Ingrassa check over their Volkswagen after the Newry stage


The voice of the WRC – Colin Clark has a chat to Ogier after Newry


Kalim Al-Qassimi wasn’t overly quick on the weekend but he kept his Citroen straight


Appartantly the Citroen squad won the race to set up – beating out Ford and VW to have their service park setup finished


Once the drivers were out of the official stage stop zone many would get out, check the car or try to get some air as the rally was quite warm with temperatures above 30 degrees


Thierry Neuville would take second, he can still win the Championship – if he scores every point available and Ogier scores none.  It has been an impressive season for the Belgian in the Ford


Andreas Mikkleson had a tough rally, with road position really ruining any chance he had of a good result


Australian Nathan Quinn put together a late deal to run a Mini WRC he put in a solid effort in his WRC debut to finish eighth


Quinn always had a smile on his face at the end of stage, relishing his opportunity to run a WRC car


Hyundai had a press car of their 2014 runner on display – will they upset the order next year?

The rally in brief (more photos after the text)

Sebastien Ogier claimed his sixth victory of the season at Coates Hire Rally Australia, but the Frenchman missed out on confirming his maiden world title by a single point after a dramatic final speed test.

Ogier was dominant throughout, winning 19 of the 22 stages in his Volkswagen Polo R to triumph by 1min 32.1sec. But his title celebrations were put on ice when a final stage puncture for Mikko Hirvonen cost him second place and elevated Thierry Neuville to runner-up.

The extra points for Neuville, allied to two bonus points for taking second in the final Power Stage, meant Ogier fell just short of the title after four days of gravel competition covering 352.36km on the Coffs Harbour Coast of New South Wales.

“The team told me at the finish line that I had missed the title by one point because Mikko had a problem. I tried my best,” said 29-year-old Ogier, who was congratulated at the end of the stage by his father, mother and sister.

“The most important thing is that we did another perfect rally and we thought it was OK for the title, but it can’t be written down yet. When you do a perfect job like that you expect to get it, but it’s going to happen soon,” warned Ogier, who has three rounds remaining in which to be secure the crown.

Hirvonen enjoyed one of his best performances of the season in his Citroen DS3 until his rear left tyre punctured midway through the last 29.44km test. “I have absolutely no idea what happened. I drove in the middle of the road all the time and I can’t understand how we got a puncture,” said the incredulous Finn.

He lost almost a minute and that was enough to allow the consistent Neuville through to second for a fifth consecutive podium in his Ford Fiesta RS. He finished 30.0sec ahead of Hirvonen in third after a troublefree event.

Jari-Matti Latvala finished fourth in another Polo R, the Finn recovering from a lacklustre start to fight back up the leaderboard. He, too, lost a minute with front left tyre issues in the final stage but it didn’t cost any places.

Fifth was Mads Ostberg in a Fiesta RS. The Norwegian was unhappy with his pace notes early in the rally and lost more time yesterday when he spun into a ditch, but he finished 20.4sec ahead of fellow countryman Andreas Mikkelsen in a Polo R.

Mikkelsen led a WRC round for the first time after Thursday night’s curtain-raising tests. He fell back during the first full day of competition after an overshoot and refused to become drawn into a battle with Ostberg for fifth today.

A subdued Evgeny Novikov took seventh in a Fiesta RS, the Russian settling for a clear run after a series of accidents. Coffs Harbour resident Nathan Quinn delighted home fans with eighth in a Mini John Cooper Works to score his first WRC points.

The top 10 was completed by Khalid Al Qassimi’s DS3 and WRC 2 category winner Abdulaziz Al Kuwari in a Fiesta RRC.

There was more disappointment for Kris Meeke. Having rolled out of fourth yesterday afternoon, Citroen’s mechanics worked for 2hr 50min to repair his DS3 and allow him to restart. However, he retired again after destroying his car’s right rear suspension late in the final test.

The WRC resumes at the all-asphalt Rallye de France-Alsace on 3 – 6 October.

Our Rally Australia coverage

Photos by Sam Tickell, September=6b 2013

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