Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier had to settle for a sixth place finish on Rally Sweden on Saturday, round two of the 2014 World Rally Championship.
Ogier had been battling at the front on Thursday, ending the first full-day of competition at the top of the leaderboard, 5.8 seconds up on team-mate, Andreas Mikkelsen, who finished second, and 12.2 seconds up on eventual winner, Jari-Matti Latvala.
However the Frenchman made a 'stupid mistake' in the opening test on Friday and lost 4.5 minutes with an off in Lesjofors 1 [see separate story - HERE
Despite dropping to 20th though, he fought back and hauled himself up the rankings, eventually demoting Henning Solberg to P7 in the penultimate stage.
“Sixth place is the consolation prize for us. Sure, Julian [Ingrassia – my co-driver] and I would love to have repeated the success of last year, but after my mistake on Friday, eight points are the best we could have hoped for,” said the defending champion, who now slips to second in the Drivers' Championship, five points behind Latvala.
“We made a clean run of it on the final day, despite the incredibly slippery conditions,” he continued.
“Also, by setting 10 fastest times here we've demonstrated that we will be a force to be reckoned with again next year, since Rally Sweden is one of my absolutely favourite events in the WRC calendar.”
“Congratulations to [my team-mates] Jari-Matti and Miikka [Anttila], who put in a fantastic performance, just as Andreas and Mikko [Markkula] did,” Ogier added.
“The team has another reason to celebrate and in the World Championship it is always exciting,” the Frenchman concluded.