CLOSE FINISH: WRC Driver's Championship leader Thierry Neuville has five time World Champion Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak closing fast in his rear view mirror with the WRC this week headed to Spain before the return to the Coffs Coast November 15-18.
CLOSE FINISH: WRC Driver's Championship leader Thierry Neuville has five time World Champion Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak closing fast in his rear view mirror with the WRC this week headed to Spain before the return to the Coffs Coast November 15-18. Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Media

Coffs Coast to crown a WRC champion

RALLY Australia and the Coffs Coast always wanted to secure the final FIA World Rally Champion round for this reason, and now the Coffs Coast could be gripped to see an all deciding driver's championship showdown.

The penultimate round in Spain this weekend is looming, but with that said the driver's championship is now poised for its closest finish in years.

Leader Thierry Neuville, Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tänak are covered by just 21 points.

Ogier himself thinks it will go down to the wire on the Coffs Coast, after he inched closer to Neuville with a win at the recent Rally GB in Wales, strengthening his pursuit of a six-straight driver's title.

When it's all or nothing champions prevail, and Ogier showed just that fighting back with co-driver Julien Ingrassia during the final stages in Great Britain to earn the praise of Ford M-Sport's Malcolm Wilson.

 

WRC Champion Sebastien Ogier.
WRC Champion Sebastien Ogier. @World

"They showed what this victory means to them and their performance through the last three stages was brilliant," Wilson said of the finish in Wales.

"The championship fight could not be closer as we head to Spain. It's been a long time since we had a battle this intense and I know that the whole team will be working their absolute hardest to ensure Sébastien and Julien have everything they need to push for a sixth world title.

Ogier added: "Luckily I was able to finish the rally with three perfect stages - which was as close to perfection as I can get."

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, who of course prevailed at Rally Australia last year, is definitely not conceding heading to Catalunya for the Rally de España this week.

"The championship is far from over. From a fan point of view, it's getting exciting between me, Sébastien and Ott," Neuville said.

 

Feel the thrill of the WRC at Kennards Hire Rally Australia. November 15 - 18 on the Coffs Coast.
Feel the thrill of the WRC at Kennards Hire Rally Australia. November 15 - 18 on the Coffs Coast. Jeremy Rogers

"We have to pick ourselves up and fight for overall victory in the final two rounds.

"It's in our hands," he said.

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Tanak admits his retirement from Rally GB was the lowest point of his career.

The Estonian held a commanding lead in the GB rally and was poised to win his fourth WRC event in a row and move to the top of the points table when his Yaris stopped after its radiator was damaged.

"That was the worst I've ever felt," said Tanak.

"I hope none of my competitors ever feel like this. "It's tough for the championship, but there's still a chance, so we still push."

Heading to Spain, Neuville leads the drivers' table by seven points with a maximum of 60 up for grabs in the final two rounds of the season.

"We have lost some ground in the past couple of events, but we are still on top and we won't give up without a fight."



Coffs cheapest fuel

premium_icon Coffs cheapest fuel

The best priced fuel on the Coffs Coast.

Luxury gifts to teachers a ‘bribe’ problem

Luxury gifts to teachers a ‘bribe’ problem

Public school teachers are being showered with luxury presents.

Mobile phone ban in all government primary schools

premium_icon Mobile phone ban in all government primary schools

Mobile phones will be banned in every NSW public primary school.

Local Partners