Sunday 12 June 2016

Rally - Thierry on top

Another eyebrow raising result on this year's World Rally Championship with Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul winning Rally Italia Sardegna in their Hyundai i20. They beat Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala on the final morning to win the rally by 24.8 seconds. The result marks the second victory for the New Generation i20 WRC this season.

Running first car on the road for most of the rally Sebastien Ogier solidly racked up the points yet again in his title chase by finishing third overall ahead of the Hyundai of Dani Sordo.

At the finish Thierry commented: “A truly fantastic weekend! Great things come to those who earn them, and it’s definitely a nice feeling to share this victory with an amazing team. We’ve had some tough times, like in Portugal, but we’ve stuck together and our hard work has really paid off. This is a special result. The New Generation i20 WRC has performed very well this weekend. It’s been great fun to drive and we’ve felt comfortable. We didn’t feel too much pressure in this morning’s final stages, but just focused on getting the car safely through to the end. We did everything we needed to and we can now celebrate our second WRC victory.”

No doubt the whole issue of seeding and running order will once be the subject of debate in pubs and clubs around the rallying world, but a philosophical Sébastien Ogier said: “Going into the rally, I knew that third place would be the best possible result Julien and I could hope for without others slipping up. As such, I am very happy to be on the podium. Given the big gap to the front-runners and to those behind us, our priority was simply to get to the finish in one piece. We have once again significantly increased our lead in the world championship."

And he added further: "I would like to say a special thank you to my wife Andrea for waiting to give birth to our first child. I cannot wait to get home. The next few days will certainly be more exciting for me than any rally!”

Hayden Paddon crashed out earlier in the rally and Mads Østberg failed to restart today after his team diagnosed a damaged engine following a broken driveshaft yesterday.

Round 7 of the FIA WRC, Rally Poland, takes place from 30 June - 3 July, and will mark the halfway point of the 2016 Championship.

Overall Final Classification:
01. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai, 3h 35m 25.8s
02. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen, + 24.8s
03. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen, + 1m 37.8s
04. Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai, + 2m 54.0s
05. Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford, + 5m 26.4s
06. Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (F/F), Ford, + 5m 59.8s
07. Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor (N/A), Ford, + 6m 22.2s
08. Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN), Škoda, + 8m 57.4s
09. Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ), Škoda, + 9m 47.0s
10. Karl Kruuda/Martin Jarveoja (EST/EST), Ford, + 13m 28.5s

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