2019 Rally Turkey: Ogier Wins to Reignite Title Battle

by Steven Batey

Sebastien Ogier trails Ott Tänak by just 17 points after taking the win on last weekend’s Rally Turkey.

The defending FIA World Rally Champion had leapfrogged Citroen teammate Esapekka Lappi late on the Saturday evening on the event and the Frenchman made no mistakes throughout the final day of action to take a comfortable 34.7 seconds win.

After grabbing first place on the leaderboard on Friday, Lappi led for most of the event but suffered a stall midway through stage 12 and the Finn held on for second on Sunday morning, despite suffering a puncture.

As Ogier took the win, Tänak had an almost completely disasterous event, ending the rally in 16th overall after restarting under Super Rally rules. The championship leader did however return to take the Power Stage win, earning him five vital championship points.

The third title contender, Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was another man with a poor event. The Belgian crashed on Saturday afternoon, but like Tänak, returned in a pursuit of bonus points with a second place finish on the Power Stage.

Photo Credit: Mahmut Cinci/RedBull Content Pool

Completing the top three overall was Andreas Mikkelsen, who helped Hyundai extend its Manufacturer’s championship lead over Toyota. The Norwegian was 29.8 seconds behind Lappi.

Teemu Suninen took fourth in Turkey for M-Sport Ford and had been hoping on the final day of the event to be fighting for the final podium spot with MIkkeslen but to no avail. He finished ahead of Dani Sordo, with one-time rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke, Neuville and the returning Pontus Tidemand completing the WRC field.

Greensmith’s battered Ford Fiesta R5. Photo Credit: Mahmut Cinci/RedBull Content Pool

WRC2 PRO saw an incredible finish to the gravel event as Gus Greensmith incredibly recovered from a roll after the end of the penultimate stage of the event to hold on to the class win ahead of Jan Kopecký.

The young Brit along with co-driver Elliot Edmondson faced a battle against the clock as they repaired the Ford Fiesta R5 before the start of the final stage, but they managed to fix the car and complete the final test and held on to the win by 29.4 seconds. Kalle Rovanperä restarted under Super Rally rules to complete the three finishers in the class.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz also suffered late drama as the Skoda Fabia R5 man broke a driveshaft with two stages left and he was forced to complete them in two-wheel drive as a result. He held on from Marco Bulacia Wilkinson, although saw his three minute lead almost halved.

His WRC2 win sees the Polish driver now move to level on points at the top of the standings with Nikolay Gryazin.

The next round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship is Wales Rally GB which takes place between October 3-6.

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