Thierry Neuville has steered clear of trouble on the final day of action to win Rally Poland to slash Sebastien Ogier’s World Rally Championship lead to 19 points as Jari-Matti Latvala claimed victory on the power stage. Neuville held his nerve after Tanak crashed out from the lead on SS21 and was forced to retire with a damage front left on his M-Sport Ford.
The pair had revelled in a tense battle for the lead throughout Rally Poland but once the Estonian driver dropped out Neuville managed his healthy advantage on Hyundai team-mate Hayden Paddon for an easy victory.
Dani Sordo completed a comprehensive performance for Hyundai in fourth place while Stephane Lefebvre saved Citroen’s blushes with fifth place after passing Teemu Suninen on his M-Sport debut on the leader on the Power Stage for sixth place.
Mads Ostberg completed an impressive performance in his privateer Ford in seventh ahead of Elfyn Evans by almost a full minute. Andreas Mikkelsen, called in to replace Kris Meeke at Citroen for Rally Poland, finished an underwhelming ninth as the last of the remaining Toyota cars Juho Hanninen completed the top ten.
Toyota suffered a nightmare on the closing stages of Saturday when Latvala’s Yaris stopped with a technical issue on the Pozezdrze stage but restarting under WRC-2 rules he claimed victory on the Power Stage.
1. Thierry Neuville BEL Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2hr 40m 46.1s M
2. Hayden Paddon NZL Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1m 23.9s M
5. Stephane Lefebvre FRA Citroen C3 Abu Dhabi WRC +3m 11.8s M
6. Teemu Suninen FIN M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC 17 +3m 16.8s
7. Mads Ostberg NOR M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC 17 +3m 39.6s
8. Elfyn Evans GBR M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC 17 +4m 39.1s
9. Andreas Mikkelsen NOR Citroen C3 Abu Dhabi WRC +4m 43.5s M
10. Juho Hanninen FIN Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing WRC +4m 53.7s M
11. Craig Breen IRE Citroen C3 Abu Dhabi WRC +11m 56.5s M
12. Ole Christian Veiby NOR Printsport Oy Skoda Fabia R5 +12m 53.2s WRC2
13. Pontus Tidemand SWE Skoda Motorsport Fabia R5 +13m 26.1s WRC2
14. Eric Camilli FRA M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 +16m 48.2s WRC2
15. Quentin Gilbert FRA Skoda Motorsport Fabia R5 +17m 13.5s WRC2
1. Ole Christian Veiby NOR Printsport Oy Skoda Fabia R5 2hr 53m 39.3s WRC2
2. Pontus Tidemand SWE Skoda Motorsport Fabia R5 +32.9s WRC2
3. Quentin Gilbert FRA Skoda Motorsport Fabia R5 +4m 20.3s WRC2
Ott Tanak EST M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC 17 SS21s Damage
Jari-Matti Latvala FIN Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing WRC SS14 Breakdown
Esapekka Lappi FIN Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing WRC SS4 Lost wheel