Tuesday , May 17 2022

Rallye d’Espagne: fourth, Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) is not yet world champion, winner of Thierry Neuville


Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) will have to wait. In search of an eighth world title, which this Sunday had many chances to win, the Frenchman finally completed the Rallye d’Espagne in fourth place. The second place of his teammate and only crown rival Elfyn Evans, runner-up Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), maintained the suspense until the last round of the season, at Monza. The French continue to lead the World Championship.

Ogier, already a seven-time world champion, saw his lead reduced by seven points this weekend, but still has 17 units of margin over Evans before the 12th and final round (November 19-21). Neuville consolidates his third place in the championship, but no longer had a chance of starting. Five times world vice-champion but never crowned, Neuville won his 15th WRC rally on Catalan asphalt. Untouchable on Friday afternoon and Saturday, he got his edge on Sunday morning, though he was scared due to a mechanical problem just before the last special.

Rally of Spain

Ogier at the foot of the podium before the last two specials


Ogier remains the big favorite

This third day has been dominated by Dani Sordo, the best time of the four specials on Sunday’s program. As a result, the Spaniard overtook Ogier in the rally standings to win a 50th podium in 176 WRC starts since his debut, here in Catalonia, in 2003. Arrived Friday with 24 points in the championship, Ogier (204 points) has only 17 over Evans (187). But the Frenchman remains the big favorite to get an eighth coronation in November in Italy.

“What Loeb brought to the rally, Ogier continued”

This season is the last full played by Ogier. Next year, the 37-year-old rider will explore other horizons, no doubt the endurance and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He will make some concentrations as a luxury freelance writer for Toyota, but without his historic co-driver, Julien Ingrassia, who has decided to stop at the end of the season and will be replaced by Benjamin Veillas. If he has a title in Italy, Ogier will be one step away from the absolute record of nine titles set by Sébastien Loeb.

Rally of Spain

Neuville widens the gap with Evans, Ogier threatened by Sordo


Rally of Spain

Neuville and Evans with a handkerchief, Ogier 3rd

TODAY At 16:56

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