25 Stories: When Seb won on a Thursday

Standing at the end of the opening stage of the 2013 Rally de France-Alsace the celebrations seemed slightly over the top. Rewind 18 days and you’d have found the WRC on the other side of the world in Australia. Ahead of the final Shipmans stage, Volkswagen Motorsport had the champagne on ice and the celebratory T-shirts ready to distribute. Ogier’s Volkswagen Polo R WRC was a minute up on everybody and able to cruise through the last final 30km of the rally. Crucially, Mikko Hirvonen’s Citroën DS 3 WRC sat between Ogier and Thierry Neuville’s M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC. They’d won the rally, but, for now, the world would have to wait. During Volkswagen’s reign in the WRC from 2013 to 2016, it wasn’t just on the stages that it made an impression, it was also …

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