Thierry Neuville wins the Rally Italia Sardegna for the third time


At the end of a race which saw many retirements due to the bad weather, the Belgian driver took his first victory this season in a World Rally Championship event. It is the third time that Thierry Neuville has won the Rally Italia Sardegna.

Belgian Thierry Neuville won the sixth round of the WRC season, edging out Esapekka Lappi for a 1-2 finish for the Hyundai team. This victory means that it has moved up to second place in the world championship, just 25 points behind Kalle Rovanperä, who finished third in Italy behind the two Hyundai cars.

The Rally Italia Sardegna was decided in the 14th special stage when the Toyota driven by the Frenchman Sébastien Ogier, leading the race at that point, went off the road. Under pressure from the Belgian, the French driver fell victim to the very difficult conditions caused by the heavy rain and mud slides.

After this incident, with the car driven by Finland's Kalle Rovanperä, the current leader of the world championship, over two minutes behind, all the Belgian had to do was keep a level head during the final stages.

"At last, I've missed out a few times already this year and it's a pleasure for us all to succeed," said the Belgian supported by Martijn Wydaeghe, his compatriot from Izegem, a small town in the province of West Flanders. 

Winning in Sardinia for the third time after 2016 and 2018, this native of Saint-Vith (a German-speaking municipality) earned 25 valuable points with this victory, moving up to second place in the world championship, 25 points behind the leader Kalle Rovanperä.

The Belgian driver now joins the exclusive club of the ten most successful rally drivers in history with 18 WRC victories to his name.