Ogier claimed his fourth WRC round of the season with his Rally Italia Sardegna
victory and also winning the final Live Power Stage round for Team Volkswagen
Motorsport’s Hayden Paddon put up a massive challenge for Ogier, but the
reigning champion enjoyed a comfortable lead of 3min 05.3 seconds over the New
Zealander who produced the surprise of the rally by heading the world champion
for almost two days.
spot on the podium for Paddon was a career best for the Hyundai i20 rally car
driver after facing problems when he spun and later hit a rock and damaged his
gearbox. Belgium’s Thierry Neuville finished in 3rd 4min 22.5
seconds behind the leader to stand with two Hyundai team rally cars along side
Ogier’s Volkswagen Polo R.
Ogier was the
only frontrunner to avoid major problems as the rocky roads took a heavy toll.
He now leads the championship by 66 points from Citroën’s Mads Østberg, with
seven of the 13 rounds still to be held.
Victory Sebastian Ogier said; "Hayden did a great job and deserves his
podium, I didn’t expect this kind of result here. It was very difficult to open
the road but the times got better and better. Everything was perfect all
weekend, from the car to the weather forecasts.”
“We still had some damage from the impact
yesterday so we were lucky to get here,” Paddon said after the final stage.
“I’m very relieved, it was a massive weekend but there’s more to come yet,” he
climbed to third on Sunday after Østberg went off the road in the opening stage
and damaged his DS 3’s brakes. He limped through the final three tests, falling
behind both Neuville and Elfyn Evans but holding off Jari-Matti Latvala.
everything at his attempt to overhaul Østberg, but fell 16.6sec short and
settled for sixth in another Polo R. The leaderboard was completed by WRC 2
trio Yurii Protasov, Paolo Andreucci and Jan Kopecky, and Khalid Al Qassimi.
round of the championship is the all-gravel LOTOS 72nd Rally Poland which is
based in Mikolajki on July 2 - 5.
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