Berlin - Championship leader Sebastien Ogier won the German rally in dominant fashion on Sunday to edge closer to his third consecutive driver's title following his sixth win of the season.
Driving a Volkswagen Polo R, Ogier beat team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala by 23 seconds in the vineyard-covered hills hugging the Mosel river in western Germany after also dominating the Panzerplatte military area on Saturday, taking his total wins in the WRC to 30, level in second place on the all-time list along with Marcus Gronholm.
He can now secure his third title in Australia next month if he finishes ahead of Latvala.
The Frenchman, who won the driver's title in 2013 and 2014, was never threatened as Volkswagen completed its set of WRC rally wins since joining in 2013 after becoming the first German car manufacturer to win this round of the championship.
He also led in all but two of the stages of the rally extending his lead by 20 seconds over Latvala from Saturday to Sunday.
“It's a big relief,” Ogier told reporters. “The pressure for a win was on all weekend and we made it with a 1-2-3 and now I am so close to a third title.”
Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen finished third, a further one minute 33 seconds behind Finland's Latvala, to secure all podium spots for the German manufacturer at its home round.
Next stop is Australia on September 10-13.