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Friday, June 21, 2024

Factors chief Neuville crashes out, Tanak leads Ogier

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Tanak turned embroiled in an intense struggle with overnight leader Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) throughout the morning’s tough gravel levels with the lead altering arms twice, earlier than Tanak ended the loop with a 3.5s lead.

Nonetheless, a stage eight exit for Neuville from third place was the most important speaking level of the loop. Neuville’s retirement handed third to Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta [+1m17.5s] with Hyundai’s Dani Sordo fourth [+1m34.6s] and a annoyed Toyota’s Elfyn Evans fifth [+1m57.6s].

Sami Pajari led the WRC2 standings in sixth total, forward of M-Sport Rally1 driver Gregoire Munster, whereas M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux rejoined the rally after retiring with {an electrical} problem in Friday’s stage 4.

The morning’s opening stage, Tempio Pausania (12.03km), was significantly difficult due to its low grip and sandy floor.

These beginning on the high of the order struggled though Neuville, fourth into the stage, managed to buck the development. The Belgian delivered a formidable time that moved him forward of team-mate Sordo and Toyota’s Katsuta into third total.

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Neuville was solely 3.3s behind stage winner Tanak, who claimed his second quickest time of the rally so far regardless of being distracted by a free bonnet.

It was sufficient to grab the rally lead by the smallest of margins as Ogier relinquished his in a single day benefit by a tenth, after shedding time to a left rear tyre coming off the rim.

Ogier was the only driver to take just one spare as a part of his tyre bundle, which left him in peril for the remaining three levels earlier than the tyre becoming zone.

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Evans was unable to match Neuville’s tempo, beginning one place head of his rival, as he struggled to evaluate the low grip. The Welshman was sixth quickest, behind high WRC2 runner Pajari.

Strolling a tightrope after the tyre failure, Ogier produced a formidable fightback in stage six. He was quickest via the 22.61km Tula take a look at to reclaim the rally lead by 2.2s from Tanak.

Ogier laid down a formidable effort 2.3s quicker than his former M-Sport team-mate, who felt his maximised his run.

“Clearly, robust begin with the puncture,” mentioned Ogier. “We tried to repair it however we’re not 100% certain we are able to nonetheless use it. I can see the wheel is bent and is leaking. It’s a large struggle.”

Neuville once more maintained his sturdy begin to clock a time 3.2s adrift of Ogier. The trouble was made all of the extra spectacular in comparison with his championship rival Evans, who appeared all at sea together with his Toyota. Evans dropped 28.0s to Ogier and was clearly annoyed, reporting a “horrible feeling” behind the wheel.

Sordo additionally was additionally unable to clarify his 25.7s time loss as he continued to path Katsuta in fifth total. Each Sordo and Evans had been slower than Fourmaux, who opened the highway.

The second move via Tempio Pausania was much more difficult. The highway was closely rutted, exposing giant rocks and bedrock that carried a excessive puncture threat.

Ogier was cautious to make sure he accomplished the stage with out additional tyre harm. That goal was achieved, however he misplaced the rally lead within the course of as Tanak pulled 2.2s forward.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Group Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Neuville emerged with the stage victory, regardless of struggling an intercom problem attributable to his ingesting system.

“We’ve got a very good run, we needed to be cautious in there with the roughness,” mentioned Neuville who was 0.1s quicker than team-mate Tanak.

“A number of stones in there and a big effect on the bumper, so we needed to go sluggish within the quick sections. A small intercom problem, issues acquired moist whereas ingesting, however we managed to work via it.”

Sordo declared the stage “destroyed” when he fastidiously navigated via, whereas Katsuta admitted he was fortunate to keep away from a puncture after hitting a rock. A annoyed Evans was 9 seconds adrift of Neuville, reporting “we’re not feeling at one with every part”.

The ultimate stage of the morning, a re-run via Tula, was even rougher than the earlier move and supplied the most important drama of the rally so far.

Neuville was caught out by the extremely rocky circumstances and bounced off the highway, beaching his I20 N. Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe had been unharmed, however hopes of securing any Saturday factors had been over.

Group-mate Sordo was stunned and saddened to see Neuville off the highway.

“I see Thierry and I used to be actually dissatisfied, f****** hell. Truthfully I don’t know why he must take this quantity of dangers,” mentioned Sordo.

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

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

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Tanak received the stage to extend his rally lead over Ogier, however admitted it felt “like he was driving with out energy steering” given the circumstances. Ogier declared the stage as among the many roughest he’d ever seen as he managed to succeed in the top 1.3s shy of Tanak, carrying a rear left tyre off the rim.

Evans additionally suffered a tyre off the rim as he took benefit of title rival Neuville’s exit. The M-Sport duo of Fourmaux and Munster had been additionally lucky to finish the take a look at after struggling brake points.

Crews will deal with 4 extra levels this afternoon.

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