(Reuters) - Sebastien Ogier clinched his fifth successive world championship on Sunday, finishing third in the Rally of Britain, while Welshman Elfyn Evans became the first British winner of the event in 17 years.
Evans’s victory in Wales, his first of the season following second-place finishes in Argentina and Finland, saw him cross the line 37.3 seconds ahead of Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20. Ogier was a further 7.9 seconds behind in his Ford Fiesta.
The 28-year-old Evans, who was at his impressive best in the four-day forest road event, emulated Richard Burns’s feat of winning his home rally in 2000.
With just the Australian finale remaining in the season, Ogier has 215 points, ahead of Belgian Neuville (183) and his Estonian team mate at M-Sport Ott Tanak (169).
France’s Ogier, who joined M-Sport after Volkswagen withdrew from the sport, became the second driver to win five WRC titles after his compatriot Sebastien Loeb claimed a record nine consecutive titles from 2004-12.
It was a grand double for the 33-year-old’s team who won the manufacturers’ title for the first time since 2007.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Clare Fallon