VW’s Sebastien Ogier is the 2016 World Rally Champion

Sebastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassa could stay at home and watch the final two legs of the 2016 World Rally Championship on TV and they’d still have enough points to be crowned this season’s champions. That’s because the pair won this weekend’s Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada in Spain.

With the win, Ogier wins his fourth consecutive WRC driver’s championship. The Frenchman is only the fourth driver in history to win four World Rally Championship titles and joins Finns Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen in that distinction.

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Only Sebastien Loeb has more titles to his name, but Ogier will have a lot of racing ahead of him to catch his countryman, who has a frankly ridiculous nine WRC trophies on his mantle.

Ogier’s championship title comes despite not having won any all-gravel rallies this year, something which has never been done before. His lack of gravel wins isn’t necessarily a reflection of his gravel skill, though.

A recent rule that has caused no small amount of frustration in the Volkswagen garage kept Ogier off the top step. The rule requires the championship leader to race stages first and put Ogier at a huge disadvantage on gravel stages, since fresh gravel is slipperier than rutted gravel.

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Despite Volkswagen’s objections, the rule didn’t prevent Ogier from performing very well very consistently. Ogier won five races this season, earned two second place finishes, two thirds, and a sixth. In only one of this season’s 11 races so far has he failed to score points—a record only one other driver (7th place Mads Ostberg) has matched this year.

Although he’s achieved his own goal, Ogier will now be engaged in the important work of earning his team, Volkswagen Motorsport, the manufactures’ championship.

Weltmeister, Weltmeister, Weltmeister, Weltmeister*! Ogier/Ingrassia feiern mit Volkswagen vierten Rallye-WM-Titel in Folge

With two races to go Volkswagen Motorsport leads the manufacturers’ table with 322 points. Hyundai, in second place, trails VW by 62 points. As a result, victory could be achieved next race if at the end of the weekend the team has a lead of 43 points.

That race, the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, starts on October 27th. It will be followed by the final race of the season, the Kennards Hire Rally Australia on November 17.