Rallying-Neuville wins in Spain as WRC title battle goes to wire

FILE PHOTO: FIA World Rally Championship - Rally Sweden - Stage 7 of Second Round - Torsby, Sweden - February 15, 2020. Thierry Neuville of Belgium (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) speaks to the media. TT News Agency/Micke Fransson/via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Thierry Neuville won the Rally of Spain for Hyundai on Sunday as the title battle between Toyota team mates Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans was sent down to the final round in Italy next month.

Evans finished second to cut Ogier's lead to 17 points, with a maximum 30 remaining to be won, as the Frenchman ended up fourth and behind Hyundai's Dani Sordo.

Ogier is chasing his eighth championship in nine years and the last before he retires from full-time rallying.

Welshman Evans is the only driver who can deny him the crown.

Neuville's dominant 24.1-second win on the asphalt roads around the resort of Salou, south of Barcelona, was the Belgian's second of the season.

Sordo won the final Power Stage for five bonus points, with Neuville second and Evans third. Ogier was fourth, for two extra points, and team mate Kalle Rovanpera fifth.

Toyota lead Hyundai in the manufacturers' standings by 47 points.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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