SPORTS

First Acropolis Rally win for Ogier

Sebastien Ogier was the winner of the 2011 Acropolis Rally, pipping fellow Frenchman Sebastien Loeb to the post on June 19.

Their battle capped an exciting race, the seventh in this season’s World Rally Championship, which has restored the Greek event as one of the most prestigious, challenging, well-organized and attended races in the WRC calendar.

The two Citroen drivers had led the Acropolis Rally after the second leg on June 18, going into the last day with Loeb enjoying a 2.2-second lead.

Yet this was probably a tactical move by Ogier, who chose on Saturday evening to let Loeb through to clear the road from the dust on Sunday, as it was the leader (Loeb) who had to start in the day’s stages.

Ogier immediately regained the lead from the start of Day 3 and went on to win the last stage, the Power Stage at Loutraki, to clinch his third victory in the WRC this season with a 10.5-second lead over Loeb.

Ford-driving Finns Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala had a very good Day 3, with Hirvonen finishing third in the race, three seconds behind Loeb, and winning one of the day’s stages, while the other three stages of the day went to Latvala.

Norway’s Petter Solberg, who led for the first half of the race, ended up fourth, with his brother Henning in fifth. Britain’s Matthew Wilson finished sixth, ahead of Finns Kimi Raikonnen and Juho Hanninen.

Ogier won six out of the 18 stages of the race, including Sunday’s Power Stage at Loutraki.

The results mean that Loeb has held on to the top spot in the standings with 146 points, followed by Hirvonen (129) and Ogier (124).