RALLYING

Sebastien Ogier wins Monte Carlo Rally

World junior champion Sebastien Ogier has won the 77th Rally of Monte Carlo ahead of two other Peugeot drivers, Freddy Loix of Belgium and French compatriot Stephane Sarrazin.

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AFP - World junior champion Sebastien Ogier, in a Peugeot 207 S2000, won the 77th Rally of Monte Carlo here on Friday ahead of two other Peugeot drivers, Freddy Loix of Belgium and French compatriot Stephane Sarrazin.

The 25-year-old Ogier finished 1min 43sec ahead of Loix, and 2min 21sec in front of Sarrazin, who set the fastest times on the race's last two night-time stages.

Ogier, who won his seat with the BF Goodrich Drivers Team thanks to a vote from a jury of journalists, led Peugeot to its first win here since 1985 when Finland's Ari Vatanen triumphed.

This race was the first in the season's Intercontinental Rally Challenge, a series boosted by being cheaper to contest than the showpiece World Rally Championship.

Ogier defied heavy snow, pouring rain and treacherous ice to lay the foundation of his victory with his winning push helped by seeing two of his major rivals slip and slide out of contention on the first stage of the final day.

Finland's Juho Hanninen, in a Skoda Fabia, who had started in third place overall, lost control of his car which rolled over and into retirement after only 800 metres.

Britain's Kris Meeke, in a Peugeot 207 and fourth at the start of the day, crashed out later on the same stage after also barrel-rolling out of rally.

Loix also had his problems, suffering a puncture and briefly losing second place to Finland's Toni Gardemeister who eventually pulled out when his Abarth Grande Punto developed alternator trouble.
 

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