(Reuters) – Sebastien Ogier breathed new life into his hopes of a seventh successive world championship by leading a Citroen one-two in Rally Turkey on Sunday.
The Frenchman, now 17 points behind Toyota’s Estonian Ott Tanak after 11 of 14 rounds, beat Finnish team mate Esapekka Lappi by 34.7 seconds on the rocky mountain roads around Marmaris.
Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen was third, the Norwegian’s points stretching the South Korean manufacturer’s lead over Toyota in the team standings to 19 points.
Tanak, who took five points from the closing power stage after retiring on Saturday, now has 210 points to Ogier’s 193 with a maximum 90 still to be won.
Hyundai’s Belgian Thierry Neuville finished eighth, but with four bonus power stage points, and dropped from second to third in the standings with 180. He had rolled his car into a ditch on Saturday.
The victory was Ogier’s first since Mexico in March and his third of the campaign.
“This win was really needed and our only chance to get back in the championship fight,” Ogier, who took the lead on Saturday after Tanak had retired with an electrical problem, told the wrc.com website.
“We knew anything could happen because it’s a super-rough rally but the bad luck we had on the previous round in Germany was behind us.”
The next round is in Wales from Oct. 3-6.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Clare Fallon)