Jari-Matti Latvala has finished second on the roughest, toughest round of the World Rally Championship, Rally Sardinia, with all three works Toyota Yaris WRC finishing in the top six.
Latvala halved the gap to eventual winner Ott Tanak on the final day and only finished 12 seconds behind the Estonian.
Earlier in the event Latvala caught a slower competitor who had punctured, but had to slow down because of the lack of visibility in the billowing clouds of thick dust.
“I’m a bit disappointed with myself after two mistakes I made today,” said Latvala “On the second stage this morning I stalled the car when I was in second gear in the deep ruts.”
“All in all, I’m happy for the team: it was a good result and a good performance.”
Esapekka Lappi, in his first season in the WRC, won more stages than any other driver, climbing from eighth at the end of the first leg, to fourth by the third and final day.
Juho Hanninen led briefly on the opening day when the gaps between the leading contenders were so small.
Apart from the ruts, rocks and dust, the seventh round of this year’s world championship was also the hottest of the series, with cabin temperatures reaching over 40 degrees.
RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA:
1, Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3h25m15.1s;
2, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +12.3s;
3, Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m07.7s;
4, Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m12.9s;
5, Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m25.3s;
6, Juho Hänninen/Kaj Lindström (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m38.5s.
World Rally Championship for drivers
1, Sebastien Ogier, 141 points;
2, Thierry Neuville, 123;
3, Ott Tanak, 108;
4, Jari-Matti Latvala, 107.
World Rally Championship for manufacturers
1, M-Sport World Rally Team, 234;
2, Hyundai Motorsport, 194;
3, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT, 143.