This weekend in Australia, Frenchmen Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have won the FIA World Rally Championship’s Drivers’ and Co-drivers’ titles for the sixth straight year. It is their second crown in a Michelin-equipped Ford Fiesta WRC after four with Volkswagen, also in association with the French tyre brand.
Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) and Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja, (Toyota Yaris WRC) claimed the year’s silver and bronze medals respectively, while the Manufacturers’ crown went to Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT after a strong end to the 2018 campaign, chased by Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT (2nd) and M-Sport Ford WRT (3rd).
Ahead of the season’s final clash, 2018 Rally Australia, forecasters had predicted a high risk of rain but the weather stayed clear practically throughout, with only localised showers affecting Friday’s run, followed by some heavier rain which swept across northern New South Wales on Saturday evening.
Crews consequently only encountered muddy conditions in places on Sunday morning and, for the vast majority of the rally, they had to cope with the event’s hallmark combination of soft and hard-wearing ground. This cocktail made getting tyre choices and strategies right particularly crucial, especially as the WRC runners’ available quota was restricted to 28 hard-compound MICHELIN LTX Force H4s and 16 medium M6s. Of these, they were only authorised to use up to 28 for the week’s 24 stages which totalled 318.64 kilometres out of an overall route length of 1,017.07km. Both options rose to the occasion perfectly, however, to cover all the different scenarios and deliver their usual blend of performance and safety.

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