WRC: Thierry Neuville takes win in Spain as Tanak seals first WRC title

WRC: Thierry Neuville takes win in Spain as Tanak seals first WRC title

Toyota driver finishes second behind Belgian rival Neuville to clinch crown.

Ott Tänak became the first Estonian to win the FIA World Rally Championship in a tense finale to Spain’s RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España on Sunday afternoon.

He snatched second place in the closing Wolf Power Stage to secure the 2019 crown with a round to spare, ending a 15-year French domination by the sport’s most successful drivers, Sébastiens Loeb and Ogier.

It is Toyota’s first drivers’ title since Didier Auriol won in 1994 and follows the Japanese squad’s manufacturers’ championship success last year.

Tänak started the final asphalt speed test in third place. He needed to finish no lower than one position behind leader Thierry Neuville in the final bonus points-paying stage to prevent the Belgian carrying the fight into next month’s Australian finale.

He didn’t require the bonus points, sweeping past home hero Dani Sordo to claim second place in a Toyota Yaris and spark wild celebrations among the Estonian fans. He finished 17.2sec behind Neuville’s Hyundai i20, with Sordo, in another i20, a further 0.4sec adrift.

Tänak presented a calm figure throughout the championship’s only mixed surface event, but later revealed the stress he had carried.

“It’s difficult to say the pressure I felt this weekend – it was next level. To manage all this and get through it has been the target of my life. When you are on the verge of this you cannot imagine it,” said Tänak.

“I never wanted to take risks but my mother said yesterday evening that if I want something I can make it happen. I just had to make it happen.”

Neuville had led since Saturday morning in a bid to keep his title dream alive. His third victory of the season, allied with Sordo’s podium, enabled Hyundai Motorsport to extend its manufacturers’ championship lead to 18 points over Toyota Gazoo Racing.

As on Saturday, Loeb struggled for pace on the smooth flowing asphalt roads in Tarragona. Having led on Friday night, the Frenchman fell away from the podium battle to finish fourth in another i20, 36.3sec behind team-mate Sordo.

Jari-Matti Latvala bagged solid points for Toyota in fifth, the Finn ending 14.0sec clear of Elfyn Evans’ Ford Fiesta.

The season closes at Kennards Hire Rally Australia on November 14-17. The gravel event is based in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España result:
1. T Neuville / N Gilsoul BEL Hyundai i20 3hr 07min 39.6sec
2. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Toyota Yaris +17.2sec
3. D Sordo / C del Barrio ESP Hyundai i20 +17.6sec
4. S Loeb / D Elena FRA Hyundai i20 +53.9sec
5. J-M Latvala / M Anttila FIN Toyota Yaris +1min 00.2sec
6. E Evans / S Martin GBR Ford Fiesta +1min 14.2sec

FIA World Rally Championship (after round 13 of 14):
1. O Tänak 263pts (new champion)
2. T Neuville 227
3. S Ogier 217

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6 hrs ago

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Sergio Perez vs Lance Stroll - which SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team driver will be on point? 🎯 ... See Less

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If it wasn't for daddy Stroll would not have a place in F1 simple as that.

The last section was tough compared to other teams.

Even I knew about the Hunt helmet of Kimi 🙁 and Checo race against him. I didnt know Magnussen father was on F1 as well :O

I knew Singapore circuit before they did.

It would be Sergio Perez.

are stroll a driver?! really?!

Man but thats not fair, redbull and ferrari questions was level 1, this is level 100

Sergio in absolute shock looking at that picture of him and Ocon squeezing at Belgium lmfaooooo

Whos daddy bought a team so you can have a seat?

hakkinen good very good but not a legend for me.

Special needs F1 drivers...

Perez, as usual, kicking teammate's ass, no matter the name..

Kimi when asked to come and record grill the grid with Antonio "just leave me alone I know what I want to do"

Lol, Perez out smashed him also this time

Kevin c'est ouf comme ils sont nuls, j'en ai trouvé plus qu'eux ! Rien que la dernière question c'était tellement facile

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Killed me how long it took them to name hakkinen

adelaide

Simon Klug stroll😍

Jacob Doole thought you'd enjoy this

Dylan Archer this one was made for you

Lace Stroll have rich dad :-DDD

villeneuve,rosbegrs

hakkinen

Checo goleo ⚽️ a stroll como lo que va de temporada

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10 hrs ago

MotoGP

Ride for life lap at the Two Wheels for Life11425388918">#ValenciaGP 🏁

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🤟

Woww

Marc, alter dein Ridingstyle war auch scho mal besser 😂😂😂

Porque a los latinos no nos dan esa oportunidad es triste que nos hagan de menos :'(

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10 hrs ago

MotoGP

Relive all the action from the 2019 #MotoGPeSport Global Series Race #5 in full 🔥

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Awesome👍👍 race

It would be so much more fun in VR, with a motorcycle sim station. GP Bikes in VR is phenomenal.

Awesome

Top fan top fan

NIce!

Adrien De Sousa

Appena pubblicato un post riguardo le novità portate da ogni casa, date un'occhiata e seguite la pagina.

More action..2020!!!

Murray Duff they only have 2 seconds on me atm I reckon it's do able......

Giacomo Marchetti

Antonio Medialdea Cuevas

Stefan Albayrak

Mohamad Amir Suhaimi

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Jimmy Cambora

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Mantap

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10 hrs ago

MotoGP

Karel Abraham 🆚 Hafizh Syahrin ⚔️

Was this your favourite move of the #ValenciaGP race? Motulfor it now to win 2 #MotoGP tickets thanks to Motul! ➡️ bit.ly/MotulOvertakesGP

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Goodby mister syahrin and mister abraham...thankyou for your dedication in motogp..

Son seul dépassement de l’année et a la dernière course bravo champion 💪💪

Ktm bike too wild to handle..like zarco said..haha

Thats not a fight.....in Malaysia we called it "give way without a fight a.k.a please overtake me"

A overtake from Abraham, is possible ?

Fabio and Marc 🙏🏻🙏🏻💪🏻💪🏻🇳🇵🇳🇵

Will hafiz ride motogp next season?

Can an overtake for last be voted the best? 😄

Bo55ku❤️

#ElPescao55

Paul Mason Toby Johnson Maverick Wiñales Andrew Yates Dean Mason 😂🤣🏍🏁👊🏻

Megan Thorpe how do people not fall off when on their sides

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🙋👍👍

😍

🔥🔥🔥

HS5️⃣5️⃣

Finally some other riders and not MM93

The battle for last ❤️

How is this bloke still in the premier class, seriously?

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