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  Home > Seasons > Season 2015
Ogiers third
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Season 2015 went pretty much as it was expected to go. Ogier and Volkswagen were clear favourites to sweep home the titles and that is exactly what happened. And again, it happened with dominating style that has become their hallmark. Latvala, who supposedly was to be the main rival for Ogier, started season well with second place in Monte Carlo, but his season went downhill from there and he was able to secure second place in championship only after his mid-season win at Finland.

In fact, Volkswagen's third driver Mikkelsen was the one who made leap forward. Not only did he score his maiden WRC win following Ogier's last stage crash in Catalunya, he also upped his game so that he was on podium in most rallies, helping VW to score three 1-2-3 results in 2015. However, despite these successes, 2015 also marked occasion for the lowest point in VW's WRC career so far.

Until then, VW Polo had been not only fast but also very reliable. In Argentina, Ogier was first to hit problems as he retired with fuel supply problems in first day. Luckily for him and VW's continued scoring record, he was able to rejoin and eventually finished 17th. Latvala was not as lucky as he retired with same problem in final day while Mikkelsen hit rock in final stage and also retired. Thus Argentina was the season's only non-VW win and emotional maiden win for Citroen's Kris Meeke.

Meeke's and Mikkelsen's maiden wins made 2015 first season since 2002 where more than one driver have scored their first wins. This would bode good for next season but at the end of the year, Citroen delivered both good and not so good news. They did commit to WRC from 2017 onwards but decided not to take part in 2016 season with official team in order to develop new car for 2017 regulations, just like they had done in 2006 when developing C4 WRC.

Hyundai's second season was mixed. In manufacturer's championship, they drove Citroen hard and almost claimed second place in the championship. But while Neuville was their lead driver, in the season ending Rally GB he was demoted to drive in satellite team's car. Officially this was done to give him chance to drive without pressures and get ready for next season but to casual observer it looks like a reprimand. Neuville did not have same fire in him this year which shows in his scoring where team's second driver Sordo scored just one point less and season's revelation Paddon lay only six points away.

M-Sport's driver line-up was again the least experienced and bearing that in mind, their results were relatively good. One must admire Malcolm Wilson's determination to stay in the top category of rallying despite lack of factory support and major sponsorship.

Changes
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In February, When Alsace lost major part of it's funding, French motorsport federation FFSA decided to move their allotted WRC round back to Corsica.

Sportingwise, the major change was when FIA banned splits from crews. This was done to prevent cruising, eg. controlling the gap when in comfortable lead but in practice it changed little. Drivers seem to be able to judge their own pace (and that of competitors) so well that no drama unfolded from lack of splits.

New cars
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M-Sport debuted new-look Ford Fiesta WRC with updated components in Portugal. It was claimed to be 80% new but without full factory support and with no change in performance, car did not transform team's fortunes.

Sebastien Ogier
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2015 FIA World Champions: Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  K. Meeke (Argentina)
  A. Mikkelsen (Catalunya)
first drivers' point
  N. Fuchs Sierlecki (Mexico)
  D. Dominguez S. (Argentina)
  G. Saba Rodriguez (Argentina)
  S. Lefebvre (Deutschland)
first stage win
  P. Tidemand (Sweden)
  Y. Protasov (Sweden)
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