Ligato was playing catch up in the PWRC title race following his retirement on the previous round in Greece and a relatively lowly fourth-place finish on his home rally in Argentina due to early issues.
His category win in New Zealand, which he said had been on the back of a trouble-free run, means he is now one victory away from equaling title leader Benito Guerra’s current points total.
“It was an important victory for us,” said Ligato. “We were fighting for this moment. New Zealand is always a really nice rally. Last time we were here was 2005 we finished third and today we win. It is very important fighting in the Group N for the world championship.
Next up for Ligato is ADAC Rallye Deutschland in late August when the Top Run Subaru Impreza driver will be challenging for the championship lead.
“We are four of the cars that could win,” said Ligato. “Everybody wants to win the next event because there are only three events [left] and Benito is in front of the championship, but anyone can win it.”