Tänak takes shock WRC Rally Italia win by 0.2s over Ogier

Tänak takes shock WRC Rally Italia win by 0.2s over Ogier

Ott Tänak has claimed a shock victory at Rally Italia Sardegna after a late puncture for Sébastien Ogier meant he won the rally by a 2-tenths of a second.

The Estonian, driving a Hyundai i20 N, celebrated his maiden success of the season when a damaged tyre in the final rough road speed test denied Ogier a third consecutive FIA World Rally Champonship victory.

Having traded blows with Tänak early in the rally, Ogier led since Saturday afternoon in his Toyota GR Yaris. The Frenchman began the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage with a 6.2sec advantage but ended 0.2sec behind after the deflation slowed him in the closing kilometres.

“There is not much I can do,” he said. “That’s life. I think we deserved more than that but at least Ott has done a good rally as well.”

Today marks the joint-closest finish in WRC history, matching the result of Rally Jordan in 2011. On that occasion, Ogier was on the other side of the ledger and held off his now team boss Jari-Matti Latvala.

Tänak, who scored his previous win in Chile last year, was humble in victory. He faced similar heartbreak on the very same stage in 2019 when a power steering failure cost him a guaranteed win.

Tänak: “I’ve been in exactly the same position myself”

“For the emotion it’s good, but obviously I am very sorry for Seb. To lose a win like this is cruel and I’ve been in exactly the same position myself a couple of years ago.”

Dani Sordo made it two Hyundai cars in the top three, helping the Korean marque to remain in the lead of the manufacturers’ championship by eight points over Toyota. The 41-year-old was initially out of sorts but climbed the order as drivers ahead of him hit trouble.

Neuville takes maximum Sunday-points

One of those drivers was his team-mate Thierry Neuville, whose podium bid went awry when he slid off the road on SS8. Neuville’s consolation was that he claimed the full 12 points from Super Sunday and retained the driver’s series lead.

Elfyn Evans’ feeling inside his GR Yaris was not optimal for the rough gravel roads but, while he ended almost three minutes back from the lead in fourth, the Welshman did succeed in reducing Neuville’s buffer from 24 to 18 points. He and Tänak now sit on identical scores.

Consistency rewarded Puma youngster Grégoire Munster with a fifth-place finish. His M-Sport Ford team-mate Adrien Fourmaux ran as high as third early in the rally before retiring in Friday’s final test with an electrical fault.

Such was the level of attrition that WRC2 machinery filled the remaining top 10 positions, with Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 driver Sami Pajari claiming the WRC2 win and sixth overall. Behind him were Yohan Rossel, Jan Solans, Martin Prokop and Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

High-speed action awaits the WRC drivers at ORLEN 80th Rally Poland later this month. The gravel event returns to the series for the first time since 2017 and takes place from 27 – 30 June.

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WRC Rally Italy 2024 – Final results

#DriversCarTime / Diff. to 1st
1.Tänak / JärveojaHyundai i20 N Rally13:06:05.6
2.Ogier / LandaisToyota GR Yaris Rally1+0.2
3.Sordo / CarreraHyundai i20 N Rally1+2:25.8
4.Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally1+2:37.8
5.Munster / LoukaFord Puma Rally1+6:42.9
6.Pajari / MälkönenToyota GR Yaris Rally2+7:13.4
7.Rossel / BoulloudCitroën C3 Rally2+7:45.7
8.Solans / SanjuanToyota GR Yaris Rally2+7:52.7
9.Prokop / ErnstSkoda Fabia RS Rally2+10:05.4
10.Kajetanowicz / SzczepaniakSkoda Fabia RS Rally2+10:09.3

WRC 2024 Drivers’ Championship – Standings after Round 6/13 [Top 10]

1.Thierry Neuville122
2.Ott Tänak104 (-18)
3.Elfyn Evans104 (-18)
4.Sébastien Ogier92 (-30)
5.Adrien Fourmaux74 (-48)
6.Takamoto Katsuta52 (-70)
7.Kalle Rovanperä36 (-86)
8.Dani Sordo27 (-95)
9.Esapekka Lappi23 (-99)
10.Grégoire Munster16 (-106)

WRC 2024 Manufacturers’ Championship – Standings after Round 6/13

1.Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT269
2.Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT256 (-13)
3.M-Sport Ford WRT131 (-138)

Photo, text: Red Bull Content Pool