OGIER HIGIER AND HIGIER: French driver Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia fly their works VW Polo R World Rally car to the win from the 2015 Rally of Italy in Sardinia. Image: AFP / Giuseppe Cacace
SARDINIA, Italy - World champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally of Italy in Sardinia for Volkswagen on Sunday with New Zealander Hayden Paddon second for his first podium appearance.
Ogier also won the final power stage to collect an additional three bonus points and extend his overall championship lead.
It was the Frenchman's fourth win from six races so far this season.
BEST YET FOR NZ
Belgian Thierry Neuville was third behind Hyundai team mate Paddon.
Paddon's result was the best yet by a New Zealander in the World Rally championship, surpassing the late Peter 'Possum' Bourne's fourth at Rally Australia in 1990.
The Kiwi had been in first place on Friday but relinquished the lead to Ogier on Saturday when he spun and stalled; he also hit a rock on the rough and rutted roads of the Mediterranean island.
That feat had made him the first New Zealander to lead a World championship rally outside his home country.
Result from the Rally of Italy on Sunday
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen 4hr25min54.3
2 Hayden Paddon (New Zealand) Hyundai +3min05.4
3 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai +4min22.5
4 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Ford +5min34.8
5 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen +7min50.1
6 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen +8min06.7
7 Yuriy Protasov (Ukraine) Ford +14min57.7
8 Paolo Andreucci (Italy) Peugeot +15min03.3
9 Jan Kopecky (Czech Republic) Skoda +17min41.7
10 Khalid Al Qassimi (United Arab Emirates) Citroen +19min12.0
Drivers’ and Constructors’ points after the Rally of Italy
1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen Motorsport 133
2 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 67
3 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen Motorsport II 64
4 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen Motorsport 56
5 Elfyn Evans (Britain) M-Sport World Rally Team 53
6 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai Shell World Rally Team 50
7 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 47
8 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai Shell World Rally Team 38
9 Hayden Paddon (New Zealand) Hyundai Motorsport N 32
10 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Jipocar Czech National Team 27
1 Volkswagen Motorsport 179
2 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 115
3 Hyundai Shell World Rally Team 113
4 M-Sport World Rally Team 99
5 Jipocar Czech National Team 34
6 Hyundai Motorsport N 31
7 Volkswagen Motorsport II 31
8 FWRT 3