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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Rovanpera closing on victory, Evans steals second

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The championship chief may afford to again off through the pair of levels, ending the loop with a 1m29.2s lead over title rival and team-mate Elfyn Evans, who snatched second from Hyundai’s Dani Sordo.

Sordo began the morning in second spot however trailed Evans by 2.7s heading into the ultimate stage.

M-Sport’s Ott Tanak maintained fourth (+4m25.8s) forward of Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi (+6m18s) and Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta (+7m09.5s).

Andreas Mikkelsen overhauled Gus Greensmith to assert seventh and the WRC2 lead.

The recent and dry climate circumstances continued because the rally resumed on Sunday morning and, after a brutal Saturday, reaching the end was the important thing goal for Rovanpera.

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Having witnessed all of his Toyota team-mates endure punctures or mechanical points, the Finn engaged preservation mode having began the day with a 2m04.4s lead over Sordo.

Rovanpera admitted that it was “not really easy when you have no tempo and a correct rhythm,” however was relieved to finish stage 13 (Tarzan, 23.37km), albeit 31.2s adrift of the outright tempo.

That tempo was delivered by his championship rival and team-mate Evans, who was locked in a detailed combat for second with Sordo.

The Welshman managed to take 9s out of his Hyundai rival, who was struggling on comfortable rubber, to leapfrog the veteran Spaniard. 

Thierry Neuville clocked the third quickest time after rejoining the motion after retiring from the lead on Saturday afternoon.

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

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Likewise, Sebastien Ogier additionally returned to the levels after his Saturday exit however had two minutes added to his general time after he and co-driver Vincent Landais didn’t accurately fasten their security belts following their stoppage in stage 12 on Saturday night.

The penalty dropped him from ninth to fifteenth spot.

The ultimate stage of the loop (Gramenni, 9km), shortened on account of highway injury brought on by Storm Daniel, prompted a response from Sordo.

Sordo managed to pip Evans by 1.3s because the battle for second took one other twist.

“I must attempt, however on the similar time I do not wish to make any mistake,” mentioned Sordo. “To be on the rostrum is good however to be second is healthier. I am unhappy I misplaced quite a lot of time on the primary stage nevertheless it’s like it’s.”

Tanak was third quickest on the take a look at forward of Neuville and Ogier, because the trio upped their tempo given the take a look at will act because the rally-ending Energy Stage later within the afternoon. Rovanpera elevated his pace to submit the sixth quickest time however was aware to not take any dangers.

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