Juho Hanninen extended his Intercontinental Rally Challenge lead by sealing victory on Rally d'Italia-Sardegna today
The factory Skoda driver overcame the challenge of local Paolo Andreucci's Peugeot to take the lead on this morning's stages and hold it while trading fastest times with Andreucci during the afternoon.
Hanninen and Andreucci won two of the last four stages each and although the home hero couldn't win the event, he did hold onto second place - less than three seconds ahead of Jan Kopecky's Skoda at the finish.
Kopecky won SS9 early today, but was unable to stop Andreucci this afternoon and had to settle for third.
Kris Meeke was in the fight for the lead until he crashed and rolled his Peugeot on SS10. The same stage also claimed PG Andersson, whose spirited comeback drive from his accident on Saturday was ended by a rear differential failure on his Mitsubishi.
Andreas Mikkelsen was another to post impressive times today, finishing third on SS9 and SS10 - though he was no threat to the overall leaderboard after retiring on Saturday.
Other big names to depart the event early included Sebastien Ogier - whose Peugeot broke down at the beginning - and Guy Wilks, who fractured two vertebrae in a crash on Satuday.
Final results Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Juho Hanninen Skoda 2h31m28.6s 2. Paolo Andreucci Peugeot +35.6 3. Jan Kopecky Skoda +38.2 4. Thierry Neuville Peugeot +5:58.6 5. Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot +9m55.8 6. Teemu Arminen Subaru +10m12.3 7. Luigi Ricci Subaru +11m33.4 8. Daniele Battistini Peugeot +11m58.1
The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season