STOP PRESS: Petter Solberg was excluded after the event when his car was found to be underweight [see separate story - CLICK HERE].

Citroen's Sebastien Ogier has won the Rallye de France today following a great battle with Dani Sordo.

Ogier managed to build a 9.5 second cushion on Saturday afternoon, when he won four of the five tests. However this morning he was kept under pressure from Sordo, the MINI man almost halving the deficit following the first three stages. Ogier though had the situation under control and extended his cushion in SS21 and SS22, setting the joint quickest time with Jari-Matti Latvala on the repeat-run through Vignoble de Cleebourg.

In the end, following the Power Stage, Ogier took the victory by 6.3 seconds and his success moves him back up to second in the championship. Indeed with championship leader Sebastien Loeb having retired on day one in the sister works DS3 WRC, the title race has been blown wide open and both Ogier and Ford's Mikko Hirvonen are now just 3 points adrift.

Hirvonen, who drops to third in the standings (as he has only won two events this season to Ogier's five), struggled throughout much of the event. However he moved up from P5 to P4 late on when his team-mate and Power Stage winner Latvala deliberately picked up a two minute penalty prior to the final test.

Meanwhile, Sordo shone for MINI, leading after day 1 and mid-way through day 2 and setting four quickest times in the John Cooper Works WRC car, en-route to the runners-up spot. It was a mighty impressive performance from the Spaniard and the new MINI team in what is only the squad's fourth WRC event - and second on asphalt.

Petter Solberg was another that ran right at the front and he led after SS10. However a slow puncture in SS11 cost him 40 seconds and he had to resign himself to the final spot on the rostrum.

Behind the Fords of Hirvonen and Latvala, Dennis Kuipers took a career best sixth, with M-Sport Stobart Ford duo Henning Solberg and Mad Ostberg seventh and eighth.

Ken Block and Pierre Campana rounded out the top ten, ahead of Matthew Wilson and SWRC leader, Ott Tanak in positions 11 and 12.

To read the full report - CLICK HERE

To view the latest championship standings - CLICK HERE

Rallye de France Alsace: Overall standings after Stage 23 / Day 3 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 3hours 06mins 20.4secs M
2. Dani Sordo MINI WRT John Cooper Works +00mins 06.3secs
3. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +01mins 23.8secs M
4. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 26.6secs M
5. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 30.3secs M
6. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06mins 42.0secs M
7. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +07mins 08.3secs
8. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +07mins 58.3secs M
9. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +08mins 25.5secs M
10. Pierre Campana Equipe de France FFSA MINI John Cooper Works +08mins 38.7secs


11. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10mins 00.8secs M
12. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 +11mins 31.7secs S
13. Khalid Al-Qassimi Team Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC +12mins 28.2secs M

Rallye de France: Power Stage / SS23 (Top 3):

1. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC 3mins 09.4secs M
2. Dani Sordo MINI WRT John Cooper Works +00mins 02.1secs
3. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 02.5secs M

NOTE: Top three finishers in Power Stage are awarded bonus points. 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point

SWRC standings after Stage 23 (Top 3):

1. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 3hours 17mins 52.1secs S
2. Eyvind Brynildsen Skoda Fabia S2000 +02mins 33.7secs S
3. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +02mins 40.7secs S

Notable retirements:

SS1. Frigyes Turan Ford Fiesta S2000 Mechanical S
SS3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Engine M
SS2/3. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC Went off on road section M
SS6. Peter van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC Rolled M

SS9. Hermann Gassner Jr Skoda Fabia S2000 Crashed S
SS11. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off*
SS11. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta S2000 Mechanical S
SS13. Kris Meeke MINI WRT John Cooper Works Went off
SS15. Daniel Oliviera Brazil WRT MINI John Cooper Works Mechanical M

SS18. Armindo Araujo Motorsport Italia MINI John Cooper Works Crashed

* denotes re-started under SupeRally

all times unofficial