10 Oct 2018
By Wright Communications
This marked the fourth event in a row where two of the Toyota Yaris WRCs have finished inside the top three. Jari-Matti Latvala engaged in a thrilling final-day fight for the rally win, ultimately finishing in second place with Esapekka Lappi in third.
The last day of the rally consisted of five stages: three in the forests of North Wales and two passes over an all-asphalt stage finishing in Llandudno. Beginning the day 4.4 seconds away from the lead, Latvala made an excellent start to the morning, with a stage win on SS20 moving him into first position. He continued to fight until the end and finished up just 10.6s shy of victory, as he took his third podium finish from the last four events.
Jari-Matti Latvala said: "It was a great battle today, I really enjoyed the fight. The first two stages were great for me, but it went away in the final loop. It was maybe down to the tyre choice: I had one used soft tyre and on the gravel it wasn't biting that well. This is a very important result for the team for the manufacturers' championship, and also for myself: to get these consecutive podiums is very nice."
Lappi began the day with a margin of just 1.7s over the driver in fourth place but immediately increased his advantage by winning SS19. He ended the rally more than half a minute clear as he made his third podium visit in the space of five rounds. With the results for Latvala and Lappi, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team extends its manufacturers' championship lead to 20 points.
"These are important points, especially for the team. In the morning loop, the performance was really strong: We defended our third place and we managed to do a fast time, which is always nice. We got a big gap and after that it, was just about bringing the car safely to the finish, which we did," said third placed Esapekka Lappi.
After being forced to retire on Saturday afternoon, Ott Tänak restarted on Sunday and claimed four points with second place to Latvala in the Power Stage on SS20. It means the Estonian driver is within 21 points of the drivers' championship lead with two rounds still to go.
Ott Tanak was philosophical: "Today we just did our job, which was to get some points from the Power Stage and then to get to the finish. That is all we could really do today. We are still
in the championship fight but the situation is tougher for us now. It will not be easy but we will keep trying until the end."
Final Classification, Wales Rally of Great Britain:
1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3h06m12.5s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +10.6s
3 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +35.1s
4 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m10.4s
5 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m14.4s
6 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m15.9s
7 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m18.4s
8 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m21.6s
9 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5) +9m14.7s
10 Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (Skoda Fabia R5) +10m48.9s
19 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +20m38.9s
1. TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT Toyota
2. HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WRT Hyundai
3. M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM Ford
4. CITROEN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT Citroen
The penultimate championship round is the mixed surface RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España, which is based in Salou on 25 - 28 October.
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