Estonian Ott Tänak gave Toyota its first Wales Rally GB desire since 1996 by storming to victory on the gruelling four-day occasion, turning in his Yaris WRC a scintillating 10 second desire over Belgian rival Thierry Neuville.
Tänak charged into the lead on the ninth of the occasion’s 22 levels and would by no way be headed, whilst fastest time on the final Brenig Strength Stage landed him an additional five choices in the FIA World Rally Championship’s title fight.
His performance extended his lead over Sébastien Ogier to 28 choices. The six-time champion did all he would maybe most likely to examine the dismay-though-provoking tempo of the victorious Toyota nonetheless would settle on to resolve for third situation over the anxious Welsh assessments.
Kris Meeke took an early lead on Thursday’s opening night stage, blitzing his Toyota Yaris WRC thru the slippery stipulations. The Ulsterman would head the leader board for worthy of Friday in north Wales, however that lead soon diminished as Tänak charged to the fore.
The fight for the final podium positions was as soon as extra of a tussle as Ogier and Neuville scrapped for precious choices in the World Championship title creep. Ogier would accept as true with the simpler hand going into the gruelling Saturday levels, nonetheless regularly Neuville reeled in the Frenchman to pause the leg in second situation.
Sunday equipped the shortest leg of the rally and little different to claw support any well-known time deficit. As such, Ogier had nothing left in the tank to disaster Neuville despite being ‘honest appropriate on the limit’ of his Citroën C3 WRC, at closing having to resolve for third.
Having held the initial lead, Meeke struggled with grip in his Yaris WRC and dropped to fourth by the level the rally headed to mid-Wales on Saturday. He managed his tempo all around the rest of occasion to accept as true with honest worried of the podium positions.
On the opposite hand, he would settle on to abet an peep on his focal level on as home-hero Elfyn Evans returned an dismay-though-provoking drive to acquire better from suspension hurt on Friday. Dropping to 12th, Evans stormed up the leader board in his Ford Fiesta WRC, a success seven levels in total to leapfrog Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen into fifth situation. The Welshman was as soon as left questioning what would maybe most likely accept as true with been, had he no longer misplaced time earlier on.
Teammate Teemu Suninen did no longer restart on Sunday after detrimental his automobile in a fracture on Saturday, leaving the third Fiesta of Pontus Tidemand to make a selection seventh.
Craig Breen recovered from a spectacular roll to accept as true with eighth in one other i20.
Wales Rally GB lived up to its reputation as being one of the toughest on the FIA WRC calendar, with inclement climate and treacherous levels in the typical Welsh forests tough the handiest rally drivers on this planet.
Exterior of the WRC premier league, there were equally intense battles for the give a enhance to championships and their respective titles. Kalle Rovanperä was as soon as topped FIA WRC2 Suitable champion in his Škoda Fabia R5 after yet one other impressive drive to ninth situation total.
Wales Rally GB additionally staged the final round of the prized FIA Junior World Rally Championship – a title won previously by Elfyn Evans and Sébastien Ogier. Spaniard Jan Solans at closing secured the coveted title after his opponents faltered.
Four time Wales Rally GB winners Petter Solberg and Welshman Phil Mills made an emotional farewell appearance, taking tenth situation total and prime honours in the FIA WRC2 category of their Volkswagen Polo R5.
2019 WALES RALLY GB – Closing authentic outcomes:
|1. Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST)||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 00min 58.0sec|
|2. Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 01min 08.9sec|
|3. Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Julien Ingrassia (FRA)||Citroën C3 WRC||3hr 01min 21.8sec|
|4. Kris Meeke (GBR) / Sebastian Marshall (GBR)||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 01min 33.6sec|
|5. Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR)||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 01min 46.6sec|
|6. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) / Anders Jaeger-Amland (NOR)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 01min 56.2sec|
|7. Pontus Tidemand (SWE) / Ola Floene (NOR)||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 06min 21.8sec|
|8. Craig Breen (IRL) / Paul Nagle (IRL)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 10min 23.0sec|
|9. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN) / Jonne Halttunen (FIN)||Škoda Fabia R5 Evo||3hr 11min 49.1sec|
|10. Petter Solberg (NOR) / Phil Mills (GBR)||Volkswagen Polo R5||3hr 12min 34.1sec|