What a finish of one of the best seasons ever in World Rally Championship!
Championship decided right on last section of 27. Kennards Hire Rally Australia, when Thierry Neuville from Hyundai lost his wheel in spin on SS22. Olso next SS23 was even more dramatic, when Ott Tanak (Toyota) had accident. But also from other teams had problems on this stage. Teemu Suninen from M-Sport and Craig Breen from Citroen were little off road. Breen had spin also on last stage, when Suninen have to retired due accident damage.
It is the only event, where all three from battle for title didin’t finished on podium places. It is the only win for Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) this season where he won ahead Haydon Paddon (Hyundai) and Mads Ostberg (Citroen).
Championship winner, Sebastien Ogier from M-Sport, finished on fifth place overall, but M-Sport didn’t won manufacturer championship title. Title went into Toyota’s hands, because their driver Esapekka Lappi finished on P4.
Second M-Sport driver, Elfyn Evans finished on P6, ahead Craig Breen (Citroen ) on P7.
Alberto Heller finished on P8 and won in WRC2. He and Gianluca Linari are the only ones who finished event in that section.
Final top 10 event results:
1. Latvala J. – Anttila M. ( Toyota Yaris WRC ) 2:59:52.0
2. Paddon Hayden – Marshall S. ( Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC ) +32.5
3. Østberg Mads – Eriksen T. ( Citroën C3 WRC ) +52.2
4. Lappi Esapekka – Ferm Janne ( Toyota Yaris WRC ) +1:02.3
5. Ogier S. – Ingrassia J. ( Ford Fiesta WRC ) +2:30.8
6. Evans Elfyn – Barritt D. ( Ford Fiesta WRC ) +3:05.1
7. Breen Craig – Martin Scott ( Citroën C3 WRC ) +8:59.0
8. Heller Alberto – Díaz J. ( Ford Fiesta R5 ) +22:28.5
9. Glenney Steve – Sarandis A. ( Škoda Fabia R5 ) +27:01.8
10. Serderidis J. – Vanneste L. ( Ford Fiesta WRC ) +35:14.1
Powerstage won Ogier, just 0.1 second ahead Lappi and 2.6 seconds more ahead Ostberg. Evans finished on fourth and Latvala on fifth place.
Championship standings after last event:
1. Ogier (M-Sport) – 219 points
2. Neuville (Hyundai) – 201
3. Tanak (Toyota) – 181
4. Latvala (Toyota) – 128
5. Lappi (Toyota) – 126
6. Mikkelsen (Hyundai) – 84
7. Evans (M-Sport) – 80
8. Paddon (Hyundai) – 73
1. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT – 368 points
2. Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT – 341
3. M-Sport Ford WRT – 324
4. Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT – 237