Sydney, Australia - Sebastien Ogier has clinched his third consecutive world rally championship for Volkswagen after winning the Rally of Australia.
The 31-year-old became only the third driver to win three titles in a row, joining his countryman Sebastien Loeb and Finland's Tommi Makinen. Only Loeb, Juha Kankkunen (four) and Makinen (four) have won more.
"It's an amazing season, the best I've ever done," said Ogier. "No mistakes, so many great performances and this one is once again a very high one."
Ogier won the final seven stages in Australia, including all five on Sunday, to win the three-day gravel road event near Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales.
Teaming up with his longtime co-driver Julien Ingrassia, Ogier completed the rally 12.3 seconds faster than his Finnish team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala.
Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke finished third, a further 20.3 seconds behind.
"It's the most difficult rally to open the road and still we managed to win," Ogier said. "It's the perfect way to get my third title."
Ogier's victory was his seventh in 10 rounds this season, securing the championship with three rallies still to go, and the 31st of his career, moving him above Marcus Gronholm into outright second place overall for the most career wins.
Loeb, who won nine consecutive titles between 2004 and 2023, holds the record with 78 wins.
Ogier became only the fourth man to win three or more titles. Only Loeb, Juha Kankkunen (four) and Makinen (four) have won more.
Kankkunen won twice in the 1980s and twice in the 1990s while Makinen stitched together four on the trot between 1996 and 1999.
Ogier currently has 235 points this season, 101 more than second-placed Latvala, who has won twice this year. Together, they secured the Manufacturer's title for Volkswagen for the third consecutive year.
Andreas Mikkelsen remained third in the standings after finishing fourth in Australia while New Zealand's Hayden Paddon finished fifth.
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen - 2hr59m16.4s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen +12.3sec
3 Kris Meeke (Britain) - Citroen +32.6
4 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen +38.5
5 Hayden Paddon (New Zealand) Hyundai +55.1
6 Ott Taenak (Estonia) Ford +1:38.0
7 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai +2:08.3
8 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai +2:15.2
9 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Ford +4:33.7
10 Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) Ford +11:46.5
POINTS STANDINGS AFTER 10 OF 13 ROUNDS
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen Motorsport - 235
2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen Motorsport - 134
3 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen Motorsport II - 110
4 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 90
5 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai Shell World Rally Team - 86
6 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 72
7 Elfyn Evans (Britain) M-Sport World Rally Team - 63
8 Ott Taenak (Estonia) M-Sport World Rally Team - 62
9 Hayden Paddon (New Zealand) Hyundai Motorsport N - 56
10 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai Shell World Rally Team - 56
11 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Jipocar Czech National Team - 33
12 Khalid Al Qassimi (United Arab Emirates) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 9
13 Juho Haenninen (Finland) Juho Haenninen - 8
14 Yuriy Protasov (Ukraine) Yuriy Protasov - 8
15 Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) Nasser Al-Attiyah - 7
16 Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari (Qatar) Youth & Sports Qatar Rally Team - 6
17 Robert Kubica (Poland) Robert Kubica - 6
18 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 6
19 Diego Dominguez (Paraguay) Diego Dominguez - 4
19 Esapekka Lappi (Finland) Skoda Motorsport - 4
19 Paolo Andreucci (Italy) FPF Sport SRL - 4
22 Pontus Tidemand (Sweden) Skoda Motorsport - 2
22 Jan Kopecky (Czech Republic) Skoda Motorsport - 2
22 Nicolas Fuchs (Peru) Nicolas Fuchs - 2
25 Gustavo Saba (Paraguay) Saba Competicion - 2
26 Stephane Lefebvre (France) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 1
26 Jari Ketomaa (Finland) Drive Dmack - 1
26 Lorenzo Bertelli (Italy) FWRT - 1Reuters