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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ogier victorious after ultimate day drama for Evans, Neuville

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Ogier and co-driver Vincent Landais triumphed following an incident-filled Sunday that noticed the pair inherit the lead after Hyundai driver Neuville and Toyota’s Evans both crashed in stage 18 of 20.

Ogier took the primary win of his 2024 partial marketing campaign from Evans by 9.7s, whereas Neuville needed to accept third [+45.9s] after his expensive error. 

The battle for victory developed right into a three-way battle from Friday’s opening leg as Neuville began strongly and took benefit of opening the highway to surge into the lead.

After stage six Neuville opened up a ten.1s benefit over Evans earlier than witnessing his lead cut back to 0.1s after selecting up a entrance proper puncture attributable to a rock in the midst of the highway in the direction of the tip of the stage.

Evans managed to edge into the lead on stage seven however Neuville fought again on the day’s ultimate take a look at to extremely finish Friday tied for the rally lead with Evans after 119.74 aggressive kilometres.

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The stage nevertheless belonged to Ogier, who was 9.2s faster than his nearest rival, a time that hauled himself into the victory battle to take a seat 6.6s behind Neuville and Evans.

The extraordinary battle for the lead continued into Saturday when the anticipated heavy rain did not arrive and tyre choices performed an element. Neuville’s resolution to take extra onerous tyres in comparison with Evans and Ogier, who took extra softs in anticipation of rain to reach, proved the marginally appropriate name.

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photograph by: Toyota Racing

Nonetheless, the lead swapped between Neuville and Evans earlier than the previous produced blistering tempo to win the ultimate two levels of the day to maneuver right into a slender 4.9s lead. Ogier remained in third, 11.6s adrift after surviving two wild moments that might have led to drama. 

However the battle took one other activate Sunday when Evans lower the deficit to 2.6s earlier than the pair each made errors and bumped into totally different grass banks on stage 18. Evans misplaced 19.6s following his impression that pitched the automobile right into a spin, whereas Neuville shipped 23.3s after rising from the financial institution with a broken rear wing and no hybrid energy on his i20 N. Neuville attributed the error to a late pacenote name. 

The unfolding drama handed Ogier the benefit and regardless of a quick go to to the grass financial institution in stage 19, the eight-time world champion held his nerve to assert a 59th WRC victory and his a centesimal podium.

Evans managed to safe factors to 19 factors, the identical quantity as Neuville. Evans continues to path championship chief Neuville, who took 9 stage wins this week, by six factors.

Hyundai’s Ott Tanak completed a distant fourth general [+58.6s] after fighting the setup of his i20N. The Estonian did nevertheless stroll away with a formidable 20 factors after ending second within the Tremendous Sunday standings and setting the second quickest time on the Energy Stage.

Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta completed fifth [+1m55.5s] and ended Sunday’s classification quickest to assert seven factors on prime of two extra from the Energy Stage.

M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux had held fifth for almost all of the rally earlier than clipping an anti-cut gadget in stage 18, which price the Frenchman 16 minutes to restore his steering. Fourmaux reached the end to financial institution his eight factors for ending fifth on Saturday, after which snatched an extra 5 factors from successful the Energy Stage, to keep up third within the championship.

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Staff Ford Puma Rally1

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Andreas Mikkelsen’s second Rally1 hybrid look for Hyundai led to sixth [+4m01.0s] forward of M-Sport’s Gregoire Munster [+5m11.0s], who loved a clear rally.

In WRC2, Nikolay Gryazin took a cushty 38.2s victory from Citroen team-mate Yohan Rossel.

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