- POSTED: 07 Oct 2013 00:34
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Newly-crowned world champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally of France on Sunday as nine-time series winner Sebastien Loeb crashed out on his career finale.
STRASBOURG, France: Newly-crowned world champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally of France on Sunday as nine-time series winner Sebastien Loeb crashed out on his career finale.
Loeb, who had already announced earlier in the season that this would be his last world rally campaign, failed to finish after going off the road on Sunday morning.
Volkswagen driver Ogier, who claimed the title on Friday, finished ahead of Spaniard Dani Sordo in a Citroen and Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala in the second factory Volkswagen.
Ogier said that the attention given to his duel with fellow Frenchman Loeb was unfair on the other drivers.
"This weekend, there was a lack of respect for the other drivers," said Ogier.
"I said before the start that Dani Sordo, Jari-Matti Latvala and Thierry Neuville would be capable of battling.
"And last night there was just five seconds covering the top four."
Ogier finished 12.2sec ahead of Sordo and almost 20sec in front of Latvala.
He then praised the world rally legacy of Loeb who leaves the sport with nine titles under his belt.
"Sebastien Loeb will remain a great champion even if he made a mistake today. The conditions were such that it was easy to make an error."
Loeb's Citroen ended upside down by the side of the track after rolling into a rain-soaked ditch.
?I started flat out because it was a close situation. We were fourth, fighting for the victory, but it didn?t go as I planned," he said.
?I lost the rear in a fast right corner, and then we had a spin and I finished in the ditch. And that was the race over. For sure I would have preferred to have finished my last rally here, but it didn?t go according to the plan.?
Loeb will now switch to the World Touring Car championship next season, also behind the wheel of a Citroen.
?I?m not happy about the situation but I was not driving for the championship so I don?t need the points. I do feel sorry for the spectators and for the team though," he added.
"For me it?s okay, I have some new plans for the future. I would have preferred to finish on the podium here on my last rally, but that?s life."