After finishing ahead of the pack in Monte Carlo, Volkswagen's Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia have managed to continue their streak after clinching a last-gap victory during the second round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in Sweden.
The 2015 Rally Sweden featured a three-car thriller finale between Ogier, Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen. Towards the closing power stage of the rally, the three drivers were separated by just 4.6 seconds.
The three-way battle had picked up speed throughout the entire rally as Volkswagen's Mikkelsen led the pack by 2.7 seconds with just 5.37 km remaining. However, he encountered a slight skid that caused the vehicle to spin and he dropped down to third place.
As a result Ogier managed to secure a solo first place finish with 6.4 seconds faster than Hyundai driver Neuville and 39.8 seconds ahead of his teammate Mikkelsen.
Speaking after the race, Mikkelsen expressed that he was disappointed in not being able to clinch his maiden WRC victory.
"We did our utmost right up until the final meter – but unfortunately lost out in the end. I never dreamed that I might one day be disappointed with a podium finish. However, I had the chance to clinch my maiden WRC victory and came very close to doing so. But I made a slight mistake, spun, and missed out on this opportunity," Mikkelsen said.
On the other hand, Ogier said that he drove his Polo WRC as hard as possible and was proud of his performance. The extermely challenging icy conditions of Rally Sweden has normally been dominated by Nordic drivers. This is the French driver's second win in the snow and ice covered gravel roads of Sweden, having won it in 2013 also with VW.
"An unbelievable finale. I am incredibly proud of this win. It is certainly one of my best. Julien and I gave everything here, from day one right through to the Power Stage. We drove as hard as possible, and it paid off in the end," Ogier said.
With this, Ogier sits on top of the drivers' championship points with 53. Locked in at second place are Mikkelsen and Neuville with 30 points each while Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala has 19.
In terms of manufacturers' championship points, Volkswagen is ahead of the pack with 71 followed by Hyundai Motorsport with 55 and M-Sport with 32.
Round three of the 2015 FIA WRC will be on March 5 to 8 in Mexico.