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Monday, May 20, 2024

Neuville heads Hyundai 1-2 after Ogier crashes out

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Ogier began the day 0.1 seconds behind Lappi however managed to overtake the Finn to take an 18.2s lead into the afternoon.

Lappi diminished Ogier’s lead throughout the afternoon earlier than the latter ran off the highway in stage 14, handing Neuville, who gained 5 of the day’s eight phases, to guide Lappi in a single day by 36.4s.

World champion Kalle Rovanpera inherited third (+1m50.7s) after a bother free run, whereas Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans overcame important time loss in water splashes to take a seat fourth (+5m36.5s). Hyundai’s Dani Sordo (+6m27.9s) accomplished the Rally1 discipline.

M-Sport’s Ott Tanak and Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta retired after struggling harm incurred in water splashes within the morning.

Following on from the morning loop, water splashes created but extra drama because the forecasted heavy rain showers lastly arrived.

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Mild rain began to fall within the first stage of the afternoon but it surely was a water splash that supplied the catalyst for drama not the climate.

The identical water crossing that put Katsuta out of motion caught out rally chief Ogier. The Frenchman arrived on the water splash too quick, leading to harm to his GR Yaris, which ingested fluid that sapped energy in the direction of the tip of the stage.

Ogier dropped 7.7s to his nearest rival Lappi, who took full benefit of the Toyota driver’s error by profitable the stage. Third-placed Neuville additionally took day trip of Ogier, as he began to shut the hole to the entrance runners.

The drama continued to unfold when the crews headed to stage 13 (Su Filigosu), The remoted rain showers began to accentuate earlier than turning torrential for the ultimate 4 Rally1 crews, to create extraordinarily slippery circumstances.

However once more it was the water crossing, which halted M-Sport’s Ott Tanak this morning, that wreaked havoc. Toyota’s Elfyn Evans, who hit bother in one other water splash within the first go of the stage produced a carbon copy of Tanak’s incident.

Water poured over the bonnet which introduced the Welshman to a halt with the end line in sight. He was capable of have interaction EV mode to limp the automobile to the end.

“We had been simply nursing the automobile via, however the water splash on the finish, there is not any solution to get a rally automobile via there,” mentioned Evans, who dropped 42.9s.

Ogier additionally took on water navigating via the crossing however he didn’t lose as a lot time as Evans. Though, he did concede 6.2s to Lappi, who confronted the worst of the rain, as he diminished the hole between the pair to 4.3s.

“For certain, the final six kilometres had been horrible,” mentioned Lappi. “The ruts had been stuffed with water so that you could not drive, it was simply aquaplaning on a regular basis.”

Neuville chalked up his fourth stage win of the day and his fifth quickest time of the rally to shut inside 7.3s of the lead. It wasn’t a totally excellent stage for Hyundai although as Dani Sordo briefly stopped within the stage with a gasoline stress challenge.

Moments after the incident, FIA stewards slapped Sordo with a €1000 positive for not having his HANS machine positioned appropriately after his crash in Friday’s stage 4.

However the complexion of the rally modified within the day’s penultimate stage when rally chief Ogier crashed out of the occasion.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Group Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photograph by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

Battling extremely tough moist circumstances, Ogier veered off the highway along with his GR Yaris left perched on a hillside and unable to proceed.

Lappi backed off after he got here throughout the stricken Ogier earlier than happening to finish the stage some 32.6s behind stage winner Sordo.

This mixed with a dedicated drive from Neuville, who was forward of Ogier on the highway and unaware of the drama that unfolded behind. The Belgian emerged on the stage finish with a 23.8s rally lead, having leapfrogged his team-mate within the take a look at.

Neuville then stamped his authority on the rally by profitable the day’s remaining stage by a whopping 10.8s from Sordo.

“I’m relieved to be on the end. It was a tricky day on the market however the feeling was getting higher and higher with the automobile,” mentioned Neuville.

M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux led the WRC2 class forward of Sunday’s remaining 4 phases.

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