Sébastien Ogier (Ford) won the rally of Britain on Sunday in Llandudno, and again in the race for a 6th world title in a row, since it returns to seven points only to the Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), 5th, two short of the end of the season.
In north Wales, at the end of a perfect race initiated by mechanical problems on Friday morning (gearbox broken), the French finished with a last scratch time, in the ES23, and with ten seconds ahead of Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota), who threatened until the very end.
The classification of the world Championship, Ogier returns to seven points Neuville (189-182). It resumes mostly the 2nd place at the Estonian Ott Tänak (Toyota), who had to string together three wins in a row (Finland, Germany, Turkey). But it was then delayed on Saturday with a mechanical problem while he was in the lead with 42 seconds ahead of Ogier.
Sébastien Ogier has believed from the moment Ott Tanäk is placed out of the game so that it was widely leader.
” It was a weekend of huge, huge fight. Ott was very far ahead, and then I had to fight with Jari-Matti, ” summary Ogier, upon the arrival, on the waves of WRC Radio. “I made a super chrono in the 22nd special and I am very happy, because my son is going to see me climb onto the roof of my car,” added the hero of the day, winner for the fifth time in this rally.
The last morning was very controversial, because Latvala is spent in mind after the 20th stage, to two-tenths only. And then Ogier is back in front of his former team-mate at VW, after the ES22, three seconds ahead which gave him an advantage comfortable before the 23rd and final stage, long of 8 miles, but delayed by an hour and a half, because of the intervention of a helicopter to evacuate a resident.
Everything is going to play in Australia
“I really want to win this rally, so I did my best,” said Ogier at the finish of the ES22 decisive, crucial, where he took over the controls Latvala, a two-time winner of this rally legendary (2011, 2012), the ex-RAC, in the temple of the rally uk.
Five-time winners on the slopes of the country of Wales where no special not like the other, where the pitfalls are numerous and the grip is very variable, where nothing is ever played, it is a real achievement : from 2013 to 2016, at VW, and so this year for Ford and the team M-Sport that he will soon leave to return at Citroën, and close the loop.
There are two more rallies remaining in 2018 (Catalonia at the end of October, Australia in November), and even if Neuville, 5th in the rally and 4th of the Power Stage, has scored big points (14), the Frenchman has scored twice as many (28).
” Everything is going to play in Australia “, has already planned Neuville. The big loser of the day is Tänak, who leaves Wales with four small points (2nd in the Power Stage), the 3rd place of the championship and a lot of regrets.
The japanese brand has not lost it all this weekend, since it has doubled… behind Ogier (Latvala 2nd, Lappi 3rd) and has widened the gap on Hyundai in the constructors championship : 20 points ahead (317-297). A nice consolation.
Toyota has once again responded to the call and get the 2nd and 3rd places.