Sebastian Ogier has helped Volkswagen claim the 2016 WRC constructors title after scoring a flawless win at the Wales Rally GB 2016 today. This was Ogier’s fourth win at Rally GB, the Frenchman won the driver’s title in the previous round of Spain. Once again, VW Motorsport has claimed both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles.
Despite leading for most of the rally, Ogier’s pace could barely match that of Ott Tanak. The Ford Fiesta R5 driver constantly pushed Ogier beyond the limits and went ahead to win six stages on Sunday. Ogier who started with a 33.8s lead over Tanak only managed to get away momentarily before the Fiesta R5 caught up with him. The fog from the first two days was gone but some stages were slippery, Tanak won all six forest speed test stages before finishing second overall.
Acknowledging Tanak’s pace, Ogier said “The main target this weekend was to be manufacturers’ champion. I’m not world champion without the team’s hard work and it was great to take the title with a victory once again. It wasn’t easy and I was able to ease off in the last few stages, but not so much.
“Ott was really flying. He was fast, very consistent and didn’t make any mistakes so it was a tough victory to get.”
The fight for third was between the two Hyundai i20 WRC of Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon. Neuville overshot a hairpin this morning but managed to keep the fight ahead, Paddon struggled with mud yesterday but his team made some overnight adjustments that allowed him to stay in shape today. Paddon claimed fourth place behind Neuville who was third.
Kris Meeke finished fifth in his Citroen DS3 WRC ahead of the Hyundai of Dani Sordo. Citroen will be absent for the 2017 season. Jari-Matti Latvala suffered some transmission issues on the first day but made a comeback to finish seventh after beating Mads Ostberg. Stéphane Lefebvre finished ninth in his return from injury driving a Citroen DS3. Craig Breen crashed out on the first day.
The final round of the season heads down to Australia on 17-20 November.