Alghero (Italy), June 10, 2018 – A breathtaking, 4 days, 313 competitive kilometres battle that ended only at the very end of the final Power Stage. An incredible clash of Titans that saw Belgian crew formed by Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul on the Hyundai Motorsport i20 Coupè WRC beating by only 0.7 second Sebastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia on the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC. This is the final verdict of the 2018 Rally Italia Sardegna, seventh round of the World Rally Championship, one of the closest rally of them all.
Suspance was also added to this duel when Ingrassia, Ogier’s co-driver, left the time card behind at the end of the penultimate stage. The time card was then given back by another driver. Neuville’s victory is even more important as the Belgian driver claimed also the 5 points of the Power Stage “Sassari Argentiera”. Now he tops the WRC standings with 27 points over Ogier. With them, on the Rally Italia Sardegna podium was Esapekka Lappi, with Janne Ferm on Toyota Yaris WRC. The Finn driver fought for the entire Saturday’s day with teammate Jari-Matti Latvala, who then had to stop because of alternator issues after he hit a rock on SS16 “Monte Lerno 2”, the last of the second leg.
Top-5 was completed by Hayden Paddon – Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) and Mads Ostberg – Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC). In WRC2 Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler took the win on Škoda Fabia R5 with over 3-minute advantage on teammate Ole Christian Veiby. Fabio Andolfi finished fourth in the category on the ACI Team Italia Skoda Fabia R5, being the first Italian driver at the end of the rally. In WRC3 standings Jean-Baptiste Franceschi won on Ford Fiesta R2 ahead of Taisko Lario (Peugeot 208 R2).
Unofficial top-5 Rally Italia Sardegna 2018: 1. Neuville-Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) in 3h19’18”7; 2. Ogier-Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0”7; 3. Lappi-Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1’56”3; 4. Paddon-Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) +2’55”2 ; 5. Ostberg-Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +3’10”9.