Tanak wins Rally Italia after Ogier suffers late blow-out

motorsport02 June 2024 13:30| © AFP
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Ott Tanak © Gallo Images

Sebastien Ogier suffered a late puncture which allowed Ott Tanak to come from behind to steal a late and narrow victory from the Frenchman in the Rally Italia on Sunday.

Leading by 6.2 seconds going into the 16th and final special stage in Sardinia, the blow-out in Ogier's Toyota allowed Tanak's Hyundai to edge past and ultimately claim the win by just 0.2sec.

The Estonian's teammate Dani Sordo completed the podium, finishing 2min 25.8sec off the pace with Welshman Elfyn Evans fourth in his Toyota.

Another Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville, who finished a distant 19th in the overall standings following a mistake on Saturday, won that final stage and still leads the championship standings after six rounds with 122 points, 18 ahead of Tanak and Evans.

Ogier has only contested a handful of events this season and had won two in a row in Croatia and Portugal.

On Sunday morning, before the last four stages, he held a 17-second lead over the Estonian and still appeared on course for his third consecutive win of the year at the start of the final stage.

"Puncture. Not much I can do," he said disconsolately at the end.

"It's not rally, it's like cross country. Not much I can do. That's life. I think we deserved more than that but at least Ott has done a good rally as well."

The next leg in the calendar is Rally Poland at the end of the month.

Rally Italia final standings on Sunday:

1. Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (EST/Hyundai) 3hr 6min 5.6sec, 2. Sebastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (FRA/Toyota) at 0.2sec, 3. Daniel Sordo/Candido Carrera (ESP/Hyundai) 2min 25.8sec, 4. Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (GBR/Toyota) 2:37.8, 5. Gregoire Munster/Louis Louka (LUX-BEL/M-Sport Ford) 6:42.9, 6. Sami Pajari/Enni Mälkönen (FIN/Toyota) 7:13.4

Championship standings:

1. Thierry Neuville (BEL/Hyundai) 122 points, 2. Ott Tanak (EST/Hyundai) 104, 3. Elfyn Evans (GBR/Toyota) 104, 4. Sebastien Ogier (FRA/Toyota) 92, 5. Adrien Fourmaux (FRA/Ford) 74, 6. Takamoto Katsuta (JPN/Toyota) 52