Updated: Monday, 09 June 2014 02:09 | By Agence France-Presse

Ogier extends lead with Rally of Italy win

World champion Sebastien Ogier in a Volkswagen Polo won the Rally of Italy for the second straight year on Sunday to extend his lead in this season's championship.

Ogier extends lead with Rally of Italy win

French driver Sebastien Ogier and his compatriot co-driver Julien Ingrassia as they compete during the fourteenth special stage SS14 of the FIA World Rally Championship of Italy in Cala Flumini, on the Italian island of Sardinia on June 8, 2014 - by Anreas Solaro

The Frenchman finished the sixth leg of the rally world championship 1 minute 23.1 seconds clear of Norway's Mads Ostberg in a Citroen and 1 minute 32 seconds better than teammate Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland.

Finland's Latvala lost time after being forced to stop to change a rear wheel after hitting a rock at the side of the road.

It was Ogier's 20th overall victory on the rally circuit and his fourth this season, having already secured victories in Monaco, Mexico and Portugal this term.

"I had a very tough beginning on this rally and had to put pressure on Jari (Matti Latvala) yesterday. Luckily that paid off and this is a really good feeling," Ogier said.

The Frenchman now heads the drivers' standings with a 33-point lead over Latvala mid-way through the season.

The reigning world champion won three of Saturday's four stages to propel himself to the top of the timesheet ahead of Sunday's four concluding specials.

Ogier's championship points were swelled by finishing third in the 8.98km Power Stage, SS17, which was won by Norway's Andreas Mikkelsen.

"I could let up a bit on Sunday having built up a 1min 40sec lead on Ostberg," said Ogier.

"The number one aim of the season is to hold our title. There are seven races to go. I have to give it everything to overcome Jari-Matti who is currently in great shape."

The next race will be held in Poland from June 27-29.

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