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Latvala claims his third win of the season

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By Euronews
Latvala claims his third win of the season

With Sebastien Ogier already crowned world champion, there is nothing at stake but pride for the three final stages of the World Rally Championship. Jari Matti Latvala proved his worth by claiming his third win of the season in the Rally of France.

Latvala is the second Finn to win the Tour de Corse on Mediterranean island of Corsica, part of the Rally of France.

He took the lead near the end of Saturday’s second leg and on Sunday he pulled his Volkswagon Polo R clear to win by 43.1 seconds.

Surprise early leader, the UK’s Elfyn Evans withstood a late challenge from Andreas Mikkelsen to secure a career-best overall second in a Ford Fiesta RS by 3.2seconds, leaving the Norwegian to take third place with the UK’s Kris Meeke in fourth.

Torrential rain and floods left the twisting mountain roads
treacherously slimy in places at times and forced the cancellation of two of the nine special stages.

The championship now moves on to Spain and the Catalonia – Costa Dorada rally, the only mixed surface event of the season.

Didier Auriol was one of the masters in Corsica, with six victories to his name, and he went on to become the first French driver to win the world title, in 1994. Back then it was an exception, now, it seems to be the rule.

For over 10 years now French drivers have been steaming ahead.

Sebastien Loeb is rallying’s most successful competitor with nine consecutive WRC drivers’ titles under his belt and 78 wins.

Although he retired from full-time competition two years ago it seems he just can’t keep his hands off the wheel.

Any road, any surface, nothing seems to defeat his immense driving talent. Cool, calm and focused are some of the words that have been used to describe him.

The undisputed successor to Loeb’s thrown is another Frenchman and another Sebastien, Sebastien Ogier.

Although he dislikes being compared to his former rival his achievements are heading in the same direction at the same speed.

Talented, determined and ruthless, Ogier won his second consecutive drivers’ title with with eight rally victories in 2014.

The Tour de Corse dates all the way back to 1956 and was first won by the Belgian woman driver Gilberte Thirion. In 1973 it became a part of the inaugural World Rally Championship. Jean-Pierre Nicolas was the best among the fifty drivers who took place.