Sebastien Ogier claimed victory in the 2015 FIA WRC Rally Italia after battling it out with Hyundai’s and New Zealander Hayden Paddon throughout the gravel stages. Ogier took hold of his fourth win of the season after Paddon’s Hyundai i20 WRC developed technical problems, he had led Ogier for two days becoming the first New Zealand driver to lead a WRC event outside of his home country.
Despite the last minute hitch that denied Paddon a possible WRC victory, he still managed to finish in second leading another Hyundai of Belgium’s Thierry Neuville – a two place podium finish for Hyundai. The rally stages were filled with rocky roads giving the drivers a tough time with some of their cars breaking down. Ogier managed to run smoothly without a major glitch to take the win as well as the final live TV power stage. He now leads the championship by 66 points away from Citroen’s Mads Ostberg.
Speaking about his victory, Ogier said: “Hayden did a great job and deserves his podium.I didn’t expect this kind of result here. It was very difficult to open the road but the times got better and better. Everything was perfect all weekend, from the car to the weather forecasts.”
"Two fantastic days, I'm very happy! Our chance was very small as we opened the road but a lot of things happened… pic.twitter.com/1D5db9DPcT
— Sébastien Ogier (@SebOgier) June 13, 2015
Neuville was running fourth behind Ostberg on Sunday morning but the Citroen driver went off the road leaving third place to the Hyundai. Ostberg’s DS3 developed brake problems and had to limp to the finish line in fifth behind the Ford Fiesta RS of Elfyn Evans. Latvala placed the other VW Polo R WRC in sixth after struggling through the rally stages just like most drivers.
Andreas Mikkelsen suffered suspension problems to finish further down in 36th place while Rally Argentina winner Kris Meeke finished in 24th after an accident. Rally legend Robert Kubica finished in 30th after encountering gearbox problems. The next WRC round will be the LOTOS 72nd Rally Poland scheduled to take place on July 2.