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In spite of a late puncture at Australian Rally, Mikko Hirvonen finished third in Coffs Harbour, for the tenth of the 13 event of the season, defeated by Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville. His team mate Chris Meeke rolled off on Saturday.

Hirvonen salvages a podium

A winner of the last three Australian rallies, in 2006, 2009 and 2011, Hirvonen never seemed to be a contender for his win number four as Ogier who took 19 of the 22 special stages in New South Wales and won 90 seconds clear over Neuville. At the wheel of his DS3 WRC, a faultless Hirvonen held the second place almost to the end. An unexpected puncture hit the Finn in the Shipmans Power Stage.

1. – Ogier misses one point to succeed Sébastien Loeb as a FIA WRC champion. Frenchman clinched his 6th rally this season, the 13th in his career.

The sentence
“I’m terribly disappointed, for myself but especially for the team who had put their trust in me. I’m just very sorry.” A hit in Germany, Chris Meeke rolled several times on Saturday in Stage 2. The Ulsterman retired again in Rally 2, the day after.

Good to know
Sébastien Loeb will be back at the wheel for Citroën Racing in the next event, at home in Alsace, for a mouthwatering fight with Sébastien Ogier.

Next up
France (2-6 October, tarmac)