Thierry Neuville wins the Central European Rally
Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) have won the Central European Rally, the twelfth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC).
In Germany, Thierry Neuville extended his lead at the top of the standings during the three morning stages, increasing the gap from 26.2 seconds to 43.9 seconds by finishing third, sixth and third again before the power stage.
By setting the fastest times on SS15 and SS17, France's Sébastien Ogier (Toyota), in fourth place, made up time on Rovanperä in second, and Estonia's Ott Tänak (Ford), third. However, the positions remained unchanged and Japan's Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota) also remained fifth.
Ahead of Ogier, Katsuta and Tänak, the Belgian driver finished second in the power stage, which was won by Britain's Elfyn Evans (Toyota), although this did not upset the rally standings.
With his second place overall, Kalle Rovanperä secured his second consecutive World Champion title, at the age of 23. The Finn has won three rallies this season, in Portugal, Estonia and Greece.
Thierry Neuville takes his second win of the season, after Sardinia in June, putting pressure on Evans. With 184 points, the Saint-Vithois driver is in third position, 7 points behind the Briton and still ahead of Ott Tänak (162 points).
The 13th and final round of the season, which will take place in Japan from 16 to 19 November, is sure to be a thriller.