Thierry Neuville was the fastest man at the Rally d’Italia Sardegna driving the new generation Hyundai i20 rally car to victory in the sixth round of the World Rally Championship. Volkswagen claimed the second and third places with Jari-Matti Latvala fighting closely with Neuville and reigning champion Sebastien Ogier finishing third.
The 2016 WRC season has been quite interesting with five different winners in the first six races. With one more rally to go before the halfway point, Sebastien Ogier has a comfortable 64 point lead over Hyundai’s Dani Sordo in the overall championship. The 2016 season had not been great for Neuville and the win comes as a confidence boost since his maiden win at the Rally Deutschland in 2014.
Thierry Neuville commented: “A truly fantastic weekend! Great things come to those who earn them, and it’s definitely a nice feeling to share this victory with an amazing team. The New Generation i20 WRC has performed very well, class-leading. It’s been great fun to drive and we’ve felt comfortable. We didn’t feel too much pressure in final stages, but just focused on getting the car safely through to the end. We did everything we needed to and we can now celebrate our second WRC victory.”
Thierry Neuville dominated the Italian rally with nine stage wins out of 18 while Latvala and Ogier managed three apiece. Despite this, Neuville won by an overall margin of only 24.5 seconds over Latvala while Ogier was a minute and 37 seconds behind the leader. Dani Sordo finished fourth (2:54:0 minutes behind) for the fourth time this season. Hyundai managed to finish on the podium five out of six rallies this season turning out to be the only manufacturer to give Volkswagen some competition after the German manufacturer’s dominating performance last season.