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Friday, February 23, 2024

Evans to rejoin WRC Rally Sardinia to salvage factors

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Evans had been main the tough gravel rally heading into Stage 3 when his GR Yaris suffered a heavy influence in a compression, which resulted in a water leak on the automobile.

Unable to rectify that downside on the street part, final yr’s championship runner-up was compelled to retire from the day, ending any hopes of a stable factors haul.

Toyota has since been in a position to restore the GR Yaris on Friday night which can provide Evans an opportunity to rejoin the rally to problem for energy stage factors come Sunday.

“The automobile is already prepared and it’s in parc ferme, so he’s good to go and begin tomorrow,” mentioned Toyota sporting director Kaj Lindstrom.

Evans’ exit punctuated a bittersweet day for Toyota as team-mate Esapekka Lappi ended Friday with a 0.7s lead over Hyundai’s Ott Tanak, with Takamoto Katsuta seventh and championship chief Kalle Rovanpera in eighth.

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Rovanpera admitted he struggled for tempo and confidence being first on the free gravel roads, ensuing within the Finn finishing Friday 1m13.1s adrift.

Nevertheless, the Finn is refusing to rule himself out of the struggle, understanding he’ll obtain a greater street place on Saturday.

“It was troublesome as we anticipated and much more troublesome than within the morning,” mentioned Rovanpera.

“I feel the primary stage was a bit extra sandy so it was not so unhealthy to be the primary automobile in locations, however the afternoon had numerous free gravel, so it was actually slippy.

“I actually felt I used to be struggling within the automobile in the present day in these situations as you don’t really feel assured. Let’s see if we are able to have higher tempo tomorrow.

“No [I’m not out of it], and tomorrow is a protracted day with none service and hard situations, so if we are able to have a clear day and sooner tempo then something can occur.”

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Earlier Saturday begin time confirmed to alleviate mud concern

WRC groups and the FIA have agreed to start out Saturday’s leg of the rally earlier to assist keep away from the mud concern that pissed off drivers on Friday morning.

Drivers labelled the situations on the day’s opening stage as “harmful” as a mix of three minute intervals between the vehicles and nonetheless climate situations meant mud hung within the air that considerably lowered visibility.

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4-minute intervals had been utilized in Portugal two weeks in the past, however on account of a packed itinerary in Sardinia the time between stage begins for crews was lowered by a minute.

Nevertheless, the FIA has since issued a proposal to start out the day 10 minutes earlier which has been accredited by the groups, guaranteeing four-minute intervals shall be launched for the primary two phases.

The primary stage is anticipated to start at 0735 BST.

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