Citroën/Michelin score 1-2 honours in Turkey
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Citroën/Michelin score 1-2 honours in Turkey


The 2019 Rally Turkey saw winner Sébastien Ogier and second-placed Esapekka Lappi earn Citroën’s 30th one-two finish in the FIA World Rally Championship. Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin) was third, while Ott Tänak (Toyota/Michelin) still tops the Drivers’ standings despite finishing a long way down the order.

Three weeks after the Toyota Yaris WRC harvested its first one-two-three WRC result in Germany, an event where both Citroëns suffered, Rally Turkey produced the French team’s 30th one-two finish (its first since Argentina 2015) thanks to Ogier and Lappi.

The defending world champion all but sealed his 47th WRC triumph on Saturday morning’s Yesibelde stage which he won thanks to a bold tyre choice and careful management of his rubber over the stony 33km test.

Instead of siding with his rivals who opted for hard-compound Michelin LTX Force H4s all round, Ogier left the preceding service halt carrying three medium LTX Force M6s and two H4s, before showcasing his tyre-management ability by completing the stage 42 seconds faster than Tänak, while Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) lost four minutes after going off.

Rally Turkey is the most punishing round of the WRC and the dusty stages that twist through the wooded mountains near the seaside resort of Marmaris are littered with rocks, some of which are as big as footballs.

Tyres are consequently put to a huge test and, this year, stages like Cetibeli (38.15km) and Yesibelde saw Michelin’s LTX Force tyres soak up incessant knocks and punishment for between 25 and 30 minutes at a time running at temperatures in excess of 120°C, conditions that not only showcased their resilience and consistency but also highlighted the drivers’ confidence in the French firm’s products.

A further example of this confidence came when the 2019 championship’s pace-setter Tänak chose just one spare for the four stages of Sunday’s long 39-kilometre loop in a bid to lighten his Yaris WRC as much as possible, a tactic that helped him to reap five bonus points by winning the Power Stage.

Mikkelsen ended up third despite late pressure from Teemu Suninen (4th, Ford/Michelin), while Dani Sordo (Hyundai/Michelin) was fifth, ahead of Toyota/Michelin’s Jari-Matti Latvala (6th) and Kris Meeke (7th), an outcome that has given Hyundai some breathing space over Toyota Gazoo Racing in the Manufacturer’s points table.

Michelin topped the WRC2 Pro order, too, thanks to Gus Greensmith who survived a roll after the end of the penultimate stage to collect the new Ford Fiesta R5 Mk2’s maiden world-class victory. Michelin Latitude Cross runners won 14 of the 17 stages in the combined WRC2 Pro/WRC2 category.

The next round of the 2019 FIA WRC will take teams to Great Britain for Wales RallyGB (Round 12) on October 3-6.

2019 Rally Turkey – final classification:

1. Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC), 3h50m12.1s

2. Lappi/Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC),+34.7s

3. Mikkelsen/Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +1m4.5s

4. Suninen/Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +1m35.1s

5. Sordo/Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +2m25.9s

6. Latvala/Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC), +2m59.1s

7. Meeke/Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC), +3m53.3s

8. Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +5m34.8s

9. Tidemand/Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +7m22.9s

10. Greensmith/Edmonson (Ford Fiesta R5 Mk2) (1st, WRC2 Pro), +15m18.7s