The Wales Rally ended last Sunday with Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen Motorsport taking first place. Another impressive result by the Rally Champion from France. He was followed by Dmack’s Ott Tänak pushing his Ford Fiesta only 10,2 seconds away from Ogier. 3rd place went to Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville. The Belgian trailed Tänak by 1 minute and 25 seconds. The list goes on:
4th Hayden Paddon +1:54.9 from 1st
5th Kris Meeke +2:35.2
6th Daniel Sordo +4:02.6
7th Jari-Matti Latvala +4:28.3
8th Mads Østberg +4:38.3.
9th Stéphane Lefebvre +7:12.2
10th Eric Camilli +8:19.3
11th Eetu Lappi +9:30.1 (WRC 2)
12th Andreas Mikkelsen +9:44.0
Analyzing the Results
A few surprises in the standings, firstly the dip of the Norwegian driver Andreas Mikkelsen, who may end up paying heavily at the end of the season for his unluckiness in Wales. The young Finn Eetu Lappi was yet again close of cracking the top ten while racing in the class of WRC 2. The other man from Finland on the list, Jari-Matti Latvala fell to 7th place which is a quite big deal as his teammate Ogier crushed it in Wales. Latvala’s season has been somewhat average but with the impressive Volkswagen Polo R he should be fighting for the Championship. Haydon Paddon had yet again a strong run in Wales, keeping up his steady success of the end of the season.
Impact to the Championship
For the Championship standings this means Sebastien Ogier increased his already unreachable lead by 9 points over Thierry Neuville on second place. Neuville himself made his 2nd place a bit surer as his biggest opponents, Mikkelsen and Paddon both scored less than him and Mikkelsen, who was tied with Neuville coming to Wales, was only able to score 2 points. Paddon’s 4th place in Wales meant he almost caught Mikkelsen on third place in the Championship. The New Zealander has had great rallies this second half of the season and is a worthy candidate for 3rd if not even 2nd place in the Championship. Second place in the Championship would however demand Neuville’s retirement in Australia and Paddon must win. Although the 2016 Champion has been clear for some time now, there is fierce fighting for places behind Ogier. The season ender in Australia (17.11-20.11) will definitely be a must-watch.