Regardless of fierce competitors throughout the whole season, Sebastien Ogier has managed to clinch his sixth consecutive FIA WRC title.
The battle for the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship went proper right down to the wire within the remaining spherical in Australia as three drivers confronted the final word title shootout. After some terrific driving within the earlier two rounds, group M-Sport Ford’s Sebastien Ogier had been in a position to erase his 23-point deficit to guide long-time chief Thierry Neuville, of group Hyundai, by three factors. Ott Tänak of Toyota Gazoo Racing was twenty-three factors off the lead.
The Coffs Harbour-based rally noticed the rivals cowl a complete stage distance of 318.64km earlier than the end. The proceedings started in favour of Sebastien Ogier, as heavy rain remodeled the gravel forest roads right into a muddy mess. This was a bonus for him as Neuville and Tanäk would’ve been a lot sooner on a dry stage. Whereas Ogier had a faultless run, Neuville and Tanäk each escaped brushes with the surroundings through the morning’s opening three velocity runs.
Because the rally progressed, issues solely grew to become worse for each Neuville and Tanäk. Three phases previous to the end, Neuville swiped a financial institution and ripped the rear wheel off his Hyundai i20. One stage forward, Ott Tanäk suffered a damaged gearbox and his Toyota Yaris got here to a halt with no drive. Tanäk’s exit allowed team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala to take the lead, whereas group Hyundai was now being led by Hayden Paddon.
Avoiding Sunday’s carnage, Jari-Matti Latvala gained the rally for Toyota Gazoo Racing in his Yaris with a lead of 32.5 seconds, and his win additionally secured the producers’ title for Toyota. This was Toyota’s first WRC win after 1999 and Latvala’s first victory since February 2017. Hayden Paddon additionally survived the carnage, clinching second-place in his i20, with first-leg chief Mads Østberg filling the rostrum in his Citroën C3.
Nonetheless, the highlight fell on Ogier and Ingrassia, because the duo drove via the ultimate Energy Stage with the data that their fifth-place end was greater than sufficient to safe the championship title. The truth that this was Ogier’s remaining look in M-Sport Ford’s Fiesta earlier than switching to Citroën in 2019 made the victory all of the extra particular for each Ogier and group M-Sport Ford.
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