Thierry Neuville scores 2nd WRC Win

Thierry Neuville scored a second World Rally Championship victory, also winning Hyundai its second Rally Italy in three years after battling with Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala, both benefiting from running eighth and sixth respectively in the running order and swapping places repeatedly!
Neuville make his break at the end of the first full day, only for Latvala to come back at him and reduced what had been an 11-second lead to just under three. Neuville however then fared better on the second runs over the stages with the cleaner conditions assisting his rear grip disadvantage to the Polo.
Neuville then pulled away from Latvala on Saturday's afternoon loop and by Sunday morning the Finn had settled for second and the final gap between them was 24.8s as Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul followed up their maiden WRC win in Germany 2014. Sebastien Ogier hung on to the frontrunners initially before becoming a distant third as being 'Roadsweeper' really hurt him and will do very little to change the current strength of opinion over the WRC running order rules!
As a sign of what might have been, Ogier did however win the Powerstage, despite having to reverse when he struggled to get around a heavily-rutted hairpin. Hyundai's Hayden Paddon suffered another Friday crash, this time while only running ninth, but Dani Sordo gave the team two cars in the top four with a distant fourth place. M-Sport's Eric Camilli also set a maiden fastest time at WRC level on a breakthrough weekend in which he recovered from Friday transmission dramas that left him temporarily with two-wheel drive to finish sixth.

Final results after SS19:

Pos .... Driver .... Team .... Car .... Gap
1. Thierry Neuville/N.Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport i20 3h35m25.8s
2. Jari-Matti Latvala/M.Anttila Volkswagen Motorsport Polo 24.8s
3. Sebastien Ogier/J.Ingrassia Volkswagen Motorsport Polo 1m37.8s
4. Dani Sordo/M.Marti Hyundai Motorsport i20 2m54.0s
5. Ott Tanak/R.Molder DMACK World Rally Team Fiesta 5m26.4s
6. Eric Camilli/B.Veillas M-Sport World Rally Team Fiesta 5m59.8s
7. Henning Solberg/I.Minor Ford Fiesta 6m22.2s
8. Teemu Suninen/M.Markkula Team Oreca Skoda 8m57.4s
9. Jan Kopecky, P.Dresler Skoda Motorsport Skoda 9m47.0s
10. Karl Kruuda, M.Jarveoja Drive DMACK Trophy Team Ford 13m28.5s

13th June, 2016