June 9, 2018 / 6:29 PM / a year ago

RPT-Rallying-Ogier and Neuville 3.9 seconds apart in Sardinia

(Adds Rallying in headline)

June 9 (Reuters) - World champion Sebastien Ogier and Belgian title rival Thierry Neuville were locked in a tight battle after the penultimate leg of the Rally of Italy in Sardinia on Saturday.

The French M-Sport Ford driver ended the 16th special stage with a lead of just 3.9 seconds over Hyundai’s championship leader.

“It is tight,” said Ogier after stage 16. “It was fun this afternoon. The second stage I didn’t find a good rhythm. On this one I had to push.”

Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala was in third place for Toyota, 48.9 seconds off the lead.

Neuville won the last two stages of the day, after losing time to a slow front-right puncture, while Ogier lost a couple of seconds in the afternoon with a start-line stall.

The Belgian leads Ogier by 19 points after six rounds. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)

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