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Sunday, December 10, 2023

FIA explains weird WRC Rally Japan stage stoppage

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Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was the primary to come back throughout the stranded zero automotive which was pulled over to 1 facet of the highway halfway by way of the 20.32km Nukata Forest check.

Unaware of the stationary automobile forward, Neuville, who rejoined the rally after crashing out of second on stage six yesterday, briefly stopped earlier than passing the automotive. He quickly switched into highway mode for the rest of the stage.

Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta additionally navigated by the Rally Japan official car before organisers threw the red flags.

M-Sport’s Ott Tanak and Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi had already begun the stage when the crimson flags have been proven. The stage restarted after a delay.

Neuville, Katsuta, Lappi and Tanak have been awarded notional instances after being affected by the incident.

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The FIA opened an preliminary investigation that has deemed the incident was initially triggered by spectators standing in a harmful location. 

Photograph by: Tomasz Kaliński

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

“On SS9 of FORUM8 Rally Japan on Saturday morning, the occasion zero automotive got here throughout spectators stood in a harmful location on the stage and stopped to ask them to maneuver,” learn a press release from the FIA issued to media.

“Rally management was knowledgeable that the zero automotive had moved to a secure location and the stage was authorised to begin competitors.

“When the crew of automotive #11 (Neuville) was 8.6km into the stage, they approached the zero automotive which was nonetheless on the stage.

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“Normal security protocols have been then activated and the stage was instantly crimson flagged for these vehicles already on stage.

“After a delay of twenty-two minutes and following a evaluate of security measures, the stage was restarted.

“An extra investigation of this subject has been opened. The organisers and the FIA are working to examine that established security protocols are revered and can proceed to watch every stage.”

It stays unclear why the zero automotive was positioned on the sting of the highway when Neuville approached.

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans leads the rally from team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera.  

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