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walesgb16-5Three weeks earlier and not quite as cold but the rain and mud were present as ever for Wales Rally GB. Sébastien Ogier & Julien Ingrassia (Polo R WRC) took the lead from stage 1 and went on to win the rally and cement the manufacturers World Championship for Volkswagen in the process. It was not plain sailing though as Ott Tänak & Raigo Mölder (Fiesta RS WRC) hunted down the World Champions, especially on the final day, closing to just over 10 seconds. Ogier held on though with 4 fastest stage times on day 1, followed by another 3 on day 2 helping him to build a decent lead. A clean sweep on day 3 of 6 fastest stage times from 6, added to 6 earlier in the event, were almost enough for Tänak.

A slightly distant third were Thierry Neuville & Nicolas Gilsoul (i20 WRC) making it three different manufacturers on the final podium. In WRC2 Esapekka Lappi & Janne Ferme (Fabia R5) were victorious by just under half a minute. Martin Koči & Lukáš Kostka (DS3 R3T Max) dominated the WRC3 category and won by over two minutes.

The National rally saw Bruce McCombie & Michael Coutts (Lancer Evo IX) take victory by just over 37 seconds from Luke Francis & John Roberts (Lancer Evo IX). Roger Duckworth & Alun Cook were over a minute further back in their Impreza WRC. McCombie took the lead midway through the first day and built a small lead ahead of day 2. Francis was slowly closing in through the complex of stages in Dyfi before dropping time at the end of day 2. With no real progress being made on day 3 McCombie extended his lead slightly on the final day. Thomas Preston & Carl Williamson (Fabia R5) were leading after the first two stages but stopped in Hafren and then returned to the rally on day 2, eventually climbing back up to 17th place by the end. Rudi Lancaster & Guy Weaver (Escort MkII) were the first 2WD crew home.

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