OTT Tänak sealed his maiden FIA World Rally Championship title after finishing second at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España on Sunday afternoon.
In a tense climax to the closing Wolf Power Stage, the Estonian claimed the points he needed to seal the crown and end a valiant bid by Thierry Neuville to carry the battle into next month’s final round at Kennards Hire Rally Australia. Martin Järveoja claimed the co-drivers’ championship.
Although the driver’ title has been settled, the fight for the runner-up position and WRC manufacturers remain to be finalised in Australia, along with WRC 2 titles.
Tickets for Kennards Hire Rally Australia, priced from $29 to $119, are available now from TICKETEK.COM. Highlights of the Coffs Coast event will include two nights of the harbourside Destination New South Wales Super Special Stage and a free concert by legendary rock band Dragon exclusively for 4-day ticket-holders.
Neuville won the three-day mixed surface event by 17.2sec in a Hyundai i20 with teammate Dani Sordo third, 0.4sec behind Tänak’s Toyota Yaris.
First and third for the Korean squad extended its manufacturers’ championship lead over Toyota Gazoo Racing to 18 points.
Tänak made sure of his title by winning the live TV Wolf Power Stage to claim five bonus points. His margin of 36 points can’t be surpassed, with only 30 points available on the NSW Coffs Coast on 134-17 November.
Elfyn Evans was second on the Power Stage in a Ford Fiesta to collect four points, with Neuville taking three for third place. Sordo and Sébastien Ogier, driving a Citroën C3, were fourth and fifth to take two and one point.
Watch TV highlights of RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España FREE on 10 BOLD and 10PLAY.COM.AU, Saturday 2 November, 3pm AEST (check guides for local times).
Kennards Hire Rally Australia is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
RESULTS, RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España (WRD round 13 of 14:
1 T. Neuville/N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 3hr7min39.6sec
2 O. Tänak/M. Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +17.2
3 D. Sordo/C. del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +17.6
4 S. Loeb/D. Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +53.9
5 J-M Latvala/M. Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:00.2
6 E. Evans/S. Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:14.2
7 T. Suninen/J. Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:47.6
8 S. Ogier/J. Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +4:20.5
9 M. Østberg/T. Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) +8.24.6
10 E. Camilli/B. Veillas (Citroën C3 R5) +8:47.2
WRC drivers’ standings:
1 O. Tanak 263
2 T. Neuville 227
3 S. Ogier 217
4 A. Mikkelsen 102
5 E. Evans 102
6 K. Meeke 98
7 J.M Latvala 94
8 D. Sordo 89
9 T. Suninen 89
10 E. Lappi 83
WRC manufacturers’ standings:
1 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 380
2 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 362
3 Citroën Total World Rally Team 284
4 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 218