With its eighth podium finish of the season, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team secured second place in the Manufacturers’ World Championship*.
After two solid days, the two DS3 WRCs set off this morning for the final six stages of the season in third and fourth positions in the overall standings.
Whilst pushing to try and grab second place, Kris Meeke ran slightly wide into a ditch on the day’s opening stage. Despite being faster than Mikko Hirvonen on the opening three stages of the morning, a puncture at the front and a blistered tyre at the rear made matters difficult for the rest of the final leg.
Full of confidence, Mads Østberg secured several stage wins. The Norwegian’s performances ensured he pull clear of his nearest challengers to consolidate his position.
This first year in the DS3 WRC has been especially rewarding and the atmosphere in the team is fantastic.
In the second half of the leg, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle looked after their tyres. Concentrating on making it to the end of the rally, they dropped just over a minute to finish in sixth place.
Mads Østberg took advantage of Meeke’s misfortune to grab third place in the overall standings. With co-driver Jonas Andersson, he collected another podium finish to add to those secured in Sweden, Portugal and Italy.
The 23 points scored by the crews in Wales, the joint second best result of the season along with Sweden, ensured that the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team finished as runners-up in the Manufacturers’ World Championship*.
After rejoining under Rally2 rules, Stéphane Lefebvre continued to add to his experience in the DS3 R5. He finished in eleventh place in the WRC2 category. He concluded his season with the FIA Junior WRC and WRC3 titles*.
Mads Østberg: “The aim was to finish on the podium. We fought a lot at the start of the rally. But intercom and tyre problems left us down in fourth position. This morning, I had a very good feeling again. We were able to win a couple of stages and we have finished the rally on the podium. I’d like to thank the entire team. This first year in the DS3 WRC has been especially rewarding and the atmosphere in the team is fantastic. I have never experienced anything like it before!”
Kris Meeke: “I made a minor mistake when we were fighting for second place in the rally. After that, I sacrificed the result to make sure Citroën finished as runner-up in the Manufacturers’ World Championship. I’m disappointed but it’s an experience I’ll take forward with me into the future. We have got quicker and quicker throughout the season, and that’s very positive.”
Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “It’s a very good end to the season. Mads’ podium finish is an excellent performance to round off the year. Second place in the championship means we have achieved one of the goals we set ourselves. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the team and our partners for their investment in 2014. The challenge was a big one given that we were competing in two World Championships.”
Final provisional overall standings
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:03:08.2
2. Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +37.6
3. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:03.6
4. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:14.9
5. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:24.3
6. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC) +2:03.0
7. Ott Tanak / Raigo Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:29.7
8. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +2:47.5
9. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:43.3
10. Hayden Paddon / John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +3:48.5
Jari-Matti Latvala, 9 – Andreas Mikkelsen, 5 – Sébastien Ogier, 4 – Mads Østberg, 2 – Kris Meeke, Mikko Hirvonen and Henning Solberg, 1.
Drivers’ world championship standings
1. Sébastien Ogier 267 points
2. Jari-Matti Latvala 218 points
3. Andreas Mikkelsen 150 points
4. Mikko Hirvonen 126 points
5. Mads Østberg 108 points
6. Thierry Neuville 105 points
7. Kris Meeke 92 points
8. Elfyn Evans 81 points…
Manufacturers’ world championship standings
1. Volkswagen Motorsport 447 points
2. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 210 points
3. M-Sport World Rally Team 208 points
4. Hyundai Shell World Rally Team 187 points
5. Volkswagen Motorsport II 133 points
6. Jipocar Czech National Team 49 points
7. Hyundai Motorsport N 28 points
8. RK M-Sport World Rally Team 26 points
* Subject to publication of the official results by the FIA.