April 16, 2011 / 2:31 PM / 8 years ago

Rallying-Ogier pips Latvala to Jordan win in closest ever finish

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Frenchman Sebastien Ogier recorded the narrowest win in a world championship race when he triumphed over Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala by just 0.2 of a second in the shortened Rally of Jordan on Saturday.

Ford’s Latvala trailed by 33.1 seconds going into Saturday’s final stages and mounted a spectacular comeback to take the lead with one stage remaining, but the plucky Frenchman saved his best to the very end to claim his second consecutive victory.

“Incredible, an incredible day,” the relieved Citroen driver told the World Rally championship website (www.wrc.com).

“I had to push like hell today. It’s an amazing feeling. Jari-Matti was so fast today and I had to drive flat out.”

Ogier’s narrow victory eclipsed Marcus Gronholm’s 0.3 second victory over seven-times world champion Sebastien Loeb at the 2007 Rally of New Zealand.

Championship leader Loeb started the day second but came home in third 27.7 seconds adrift with Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen in fourth, over 2-1/2 minutes off Ogier’s pace.

Frenchman Loeb (74 points) leads from Hirvonen by two points while Ogier is third on 69 points and Latvala (66) fourth.

Thursday’s competitive stages of the season’s fourth rally were cancelled after a boat carrying equipment to the course broke down.

The fifth event of season takes place in Sardinia from May 5-8.

Writing by Tom Pilcher, Editing by John Mehaffey; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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