Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia won Rally Great Britain. Their Volkswagen team took the 2016 WRC Manufacturers’ title. Sunday’s victory is the fourth in a row in Wales for the Frenchmen, and their first on gravel in 2016.
Ogier took the lead on stage one, and never really looked like surrendering top spot for the remaining 21 stages
Whenever his closest rival Ott Tanak made up a few seconds, he always had the answer. Despite coming under a little pressure on the final day, the Frenchman held his nerve to finish 10.2 seconds ahead of Tanak. Thierry Neuville completed the podium. The Belgian is now second in the Drivers’ Championship with just one rally remaining – much to the frustration of Andreas Mikkelsen.
The Norwegian could do little more than watch on as Neuville moved ahead of him in the overall standings. The drive shaft on his Volkswagen Polo R WRC broke on Friday, leaving Andreas with a mountain to climb. He put pedal to the metal on the closing Power Stage to pick up two bonus points.
Jari-Matti Latvala can no longer finish second in the Drivers’ Championship. The Finn was also the victim of a damaged drive shaft on Friday, and lost a lot of time as a consequence. However, Latvala still has cause for celebration: he too did his bit to ensure that Volkswagen secured a fourth Manufacturers’ title.
Second was a fantastic result for Tanak and his co-driver Raigo Molder
The pairing secured M-Sport’s fourth podium of the year. Displaying superb confidence and speed, Tanak and Molder were the only crew capable of matching Ogier. With the conditions equalised by the final day running order the Estonian showed that he had the pace to secure an elusive first victory this weekend.
Winning all of today’s six stages and claiming maximum points in the Power Stage, Tanak slashed Ogier’s lead from 33.8 seconds to a mere 10.2 seconds. That was the closest finish of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship thus far.
For Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, third place signifies their sixth podium of the season. It is also fourth top 3 classification in a row. Another strong collection of points moves them clearly into second position on the Drivers’ Championship with 143 points, 14 ahead of third-placed Andreas Mikkelsen.
The final rally of the 2016 season takes place in three weeks, from 18 to 20 November, in Australia.