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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Evans extends lead over Tanak in thrilling head-to-head

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The Toyota driver got here below stress on the morning’s first stage as Tanak took a nibble out of his lead earlier than the Welshman responded with a press release on Stage 17 as Evans took 3.5s out of his rival.

In consequence, Evans will head into the ultimate two levels of the rally with a 12.2s benefit over the 2019 world champion.

Hyundai’s Craig Breen was unable to shut in of the lead two however maintained third general, some 19.1s adrift.

Wildcard Toyota runner Esapekka Lappi stays in fourth spot forward of championship chief Sebastien Ogier. The M-Sport Ford duo of Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux ended the loop in a distant sixth and seventh respectively.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was absent from the motion after because of unrepairable harm brought on by a water leak on Saturday, however Toyota duo Takamoto Katsuta and pre-event favorite Kalle Rovanpera returned to motion after retirements, the day prior to this.

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Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Picture by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

The Evans versus Tanak head-to-head resumed from the beginning of the day’s first stage and it was Tanak that got here out on high.

Nevertheless, the Hyundai driver may solely take 0.4s out of his rival on Stage 16 Laukaa (11.75km) to carry the general lead down to eight.7s.

Lappi emerged on high in one of the best of the remainder class as he set the third quickest time on the slippery gravel stage, whereas Breen dropped 6.5s after a spin at a junction, however remained in a cushty third general.

The returning Katsuta slotted in between Lappi and Breen on the timesheets as Ogier elected to again off to avoid wasting his tyres for the rally ending Energy Stage.

Residence followers have been happy to see Rovanpera return the roads however the 21-year-old Toyota star declared the day can be nothing greater than a “high-speed recce” with each driver and automotive not 100% sharp.

“Mechanics did a large job to get the automotive going once more, however we’re additionally nonetheless carrying some points with the automotive so we gained’t be full pace immediately. I additionally hurst my again on impression yesterday so we gained’t be going full pace or leaping immediately,” mentioned Rovanpera.

Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Picture by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

“For us at the present time will likely be a high-speed recce for the longer term, however we’re there for producer factors if one thing occurs with Elfyn or Seb.”

Any recommendations Evans would buckle below the stress have been put to mattress with a formidable show to win Stage 17.

Evans took 3.5s out of Tanak on the well-known Ruuhimaki take a look at because the Toyota glided by the mix of tight junctions and collection of high-speed jumps.

Breen was third quickest on the stage forward of Lappi, Ogier and Katsuta.

Fourmaux produced essentially the most spectacular second because the Frenchman launched into a watch opening 57 metre leap over the stage’s man-made flying end.

Rally Finland concludes with a second go by the morning’s levels, with the ultimate blast by the Ruuhimaki take a look at appearing because the Energy Stage.

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