Ott Tanak notched up a hat-trick of wins for the first time in the FIA World Rally Championship since 2016 when he claimed victory in Rally Turkey, the 10th round of the series. In doing so, the Estonian catapulted himself into second in the championship, sandwiching leader Thierry Neuville and third-placed Sebastien Ogier.
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila finished second, securing Toyota’s first one-two this year, and Hayden Paddon and Sebastian Marshall upheld honors for Hyundai by taking the final podium position.
After one of toughest events in recent history and a unique challenge on the WRC calendar, the drivers’ championship takes on a different complexion. Neuville may still head the points but, after only picking up maximum points in the Power Stage, he is now being chased down by Tanak who is 13 points adrift in second. Similarly, Ogier only picked up points for second in the Power Stage and has dropped to third, trailing Tanak by 10 points. Toyota Gazoo Racing’s one-two also enabled the squad to leap into the lead in the manufacturers’ championship and it now heads Hyundai by just five points.
Today’s route was by far the shortest and took in just four stages and 35 competitive kilometers and, after two of the most grueling days of rallying, virtually all the crews drove tactically to the finish. Tanak took no risks and remained focused on maintaining a safe pace as he was never going to be challenged by Latvala, such are the high stakes in the championship. The Finn’s second position is also his best of the year. Paddon has played the long game throughout the event and looking after the car paid dividends with a podium finish as many of the championship competitors fell by the wayside.
Behind the leading trio, Teemu Suninen drove a measured event, showing pace and delivering a solid performance; he finished as the lead Fiesta WRC driver after both Ogier and Elfyn Evans dropped back earlier in the event. Andreas Mikkelsen finished fifth, another driver to lose time over the weekend and he headed sixth-placed Henning Solberg, the popular Norwegian back for a one-off event in a Skoda Fabia R5.
Jan Kopecky once again ran into problems but the Czech driver powered back up the leaderboard to take the FIA WRC 2 Championship win and seventh overall. This is his fifth win from five outings this season. He finished over a minute ahead of Simone Tempestini with Chris Ingram third in the category.
Ogier rounded out the top 10 with teammate Evans 12th. Championship leader Neuville eventually climbed to 16th; he saved his tires throughout the day for an all-out assault in the Power Stage.
The FIA Junior WRC Championship also came to a thrilling climax on its final round in Turkey and Emil Bergkvist not only won the event but took the series title in his Fiesta R2. The Swede wins one of the biggest prizes in world rallying; ownership of a Fiesta R5 and a free entry into next year’s FIA WRC 2 Championship.
The 11th round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the crews to Wales Rally GB on October 4-7 for another popular gravel encounter.
Rally Turkey – Final unofficial results (subject to final scrutineering)
|1||Ott Tanak / Martin Jarveoja||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 59min 24.5sec|
|2||Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 59min 46.8sec|
|3||Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||4hr 01min 10.8sec|
|4||Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula||Ford Fiesta WRC||4hr 03min 35.4sec|
|5||Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||4hr 06min 36.2sec|
|6||Henning Solberg / Ilka Minor||Škoda Fabia R5||4hr 13min 05.1sec|
|7||Jan Kopecky / Pavel Dresler||Škoda Fabia R5||4hr 17min 49.7sec|
|8||Simone Tempestini / Sergiu Itu||Citroen C3 R5||4hr 19min 01.6sec|
|9||Chris Ingram / Ross Whittock||Škoda Fabia R5||4hr 19min 45.8sec|
|10||Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia||Ford Fiesta WRC||4hr 20min 15.7sec|
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA