In a masterful display of driving prowess, Sébastien Ogier delivered a masterclass in the World Rally Championship’s (WRC) Rally Italia Sardinia, claiming a dominant victory on the Mediterranean island.
The stage was set for the Frenchman, who was looking to extend his lead in the WRC standings, and after the first day’s running, the six-time world champion held a healthy lead. Ogier’s commanding lead was further bolstered on Saturday as he extended his advantage by a further 10.8 seconds, before sealing a comprehensive win in the final day’s challenging stages.
Speaking afterwards, Ogier declared his delight at the result, as well as paying tribute to his co-driver Julien Ingrassia who, he said, had enabled him to extract the best out of the car.
“It’s been a really difficult rally and I’m very happy to take the win here,” Ogier said. “I was able to push hard and the car was really good. I have to thank Julien for his work and help to get the maximum out of it.”
Meanwhile, Thierry Neuville produced a stunning performance to claim second place, despite suffering a puncture in the second stage of the day. The Belgian driver kept his foot firmly on the throttle to come from behind, and was rewarded with a huge cheer from the Sardinian crowd upon coming across the finish line.
“I’m very pleased with the result,” Neuville said. “We had a puncture in the second stage and I was able to keep pushing, which was not easy. I’m delighted to be on the podium and to be able to fight for the championship.”
Ogier’s victory was his third of the season and was an impressive display of technical adeptness and tenacity, as he navigated his way through the difficult and technical stages. With the win, Ogier extended his lead in the WRC standings, and provided further proof that he is the driver to beat this season.