WRC Rally Australia: Thierry Neuville pulls clear on shortened loop

Thierry Neuville tightened his grip on the final round of the World Rally Championship season in Australia, with a dominant display on the shortened Saturday afternoon loop

WRC Rally Australia: Thierry Neuville pulls clear on shortened loop

Neuville, who scooped up the rally lead on Saturday morning after his Hyundai team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen crashed, dominated the opening stage of the afternoon - Welshs Creek, beating Latvala by 9.9 seconds.

On Argents Hill - the second half of the monster Nambucca stage - Neuville gained a further 2.8s and picked up his sixth stage win of the rally.

The final scheduled stage of the afternoon - the second running of Newry was cancelled due to safety concerns over a damaged bridge, meaning Neuville went to service with a lead of 19s over Latvala.

Kris Meeke, who started the morning in third place, retired with rear-right suspension damage sustained on Welshs Creek.

"Near the start, we went over a narrow bridge and I just touched the rear - something is broken," Meeke explained.

M-Sport's Ott Tanak is promoted to third position, 40.2s off the rally lead but 25s ahead of Craig Breen, who sits in a season's best fourth place.

Hayden Paddon rounds out the top five for Hyundai while world champion Sebastien Ogier is sixth in the overall classification, despite his Fiesta missing its bumper for the majority of the afternoon.

His fellow countryman Stephane Lefebvre is in seventh place, the Frenchman spun in SS12 but was sixth quickest on Argents Hill.

The DMACK-shod Fiesta of Elfyn Evans had another miserable loop, reporting oversteer issues and slipping to more than three minutes off the rally lead in eighth place.

Finn Esapekka Lappi, who was the first driver onto the stages, is up to ninth in the overall classification following Meeke's retirement.

Kalle Rovanpera, the sole WRC2 entry this weekend, rounds out the top 10 in his Fiesta R5.

Leading positions after SS14:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 2h03m07.4s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 19.0s
3 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 40.2s
4 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 1m05.2s
5 Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m20.1s
6 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 1m47.2s
7 Stephane Lefebvre, G.Moreau Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 2m59.1s
8 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3m22.7s
9 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 4m18.6s
10 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 7m41.3s
11 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Ford 15m26.6s
12 Nathan Quinn, B.Searcy Mitsubishi 17m17.3s
13 Richie Dalton, J.Allen Skoda 18m07.2s
14 Dean Herridge, S.Hill Subaru 20m47.3s
15 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 22m16.6s
16 Jourdan Serderidis, F.Miclotte Citroen 23m20.1s
17 Thomas Clarke, R.Preston Mitsubishi 26m33.7s
18 Fabio Frisiero, S.Scattolin Peugeot 26m42.3s
19 John O'Dowd, K.Sheil Subaru 32m00.7s
20 Justin Hatton, S.Fisher Mitsubishi 32m45.3s
21 Mike Young, M.Read Ron Cremen Rallysport Citroen 33m05.3s
22 Peter Dunn, D.Neagle Subaru 35m06.6s
23 Wayne Morton, M.Benson Toyota 41m38.7s
24 Mark Beard, S.Beckwith Subaru 42m08.8s
25 Craig Brooks, S.Glenney Subaru 44m24.7s
26 Rhys Pinter, P.Hall Ford 45m44.5s
27 Lewis Bates, D.Moscatt Toyota 52m59.1s
28 Eli Evans, G.Weston Mini 1h04m19.2s
29 Andrew Penny, K.Penny Subaru 1h20m19.8s


shares
comments
WRC Rally Australia: Neuville into lead as Mikkelsen forced out

Previous article

WRC Rally Australia: Neuville into lead as Mikkelsen forced out

Next article

WRC Rally Australia: Neuville dominates as rivals falter

WRC Rally Australia: Neuville dominates as rivals falter
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
22 h
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021