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Monday, February 26, 2024

Rovanpera delivers masterclass to say fifth 2022 win

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The WRC championship chief produced yet one more gorgeous efficiency, regardless of beginning first on the street in changeable climate circumstances, to beat Evans by 1m00.9s on Estonia’s quick gravel roads. 

Evans had dominated nearly all of Friday’s phases successful 5 of the eight exams to open up a 19.9s lead just for Rovanpera and co-driver Jonne Halttunen to start to reel within the Welshman as intermittent rain showers created treacherous circumstances. 

Rovanpera surged into the lead on Friday’s last stage, helped by Evans struggling the worst of the heavy rain. Nevertheless, the Finn elected to push on slippery gravel roads, leading to a 22.6s swing and the rally lead.

Evans mounted a problem on Saturday earlier than Rovanpera took management of the rally posting seven consecutive stage wins to maneuver right into a wholesome lead.

Rovanpera sealed the victory in unbelievable style by beating Evans by 22.5s on the ultimate powerstage, held in desperately moist circumstances. 

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Rovanpera’s seventh profession WRC victory, after claiming 14 of the 24 phases, has moved the 21-year-old 83 factors away from nearest rival Thierry Neuville.  

Second place has elevated Evans to 3rd within the championship, following runner-up finishes behind Rovanpera in Portugal and Kenya.

Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Crew Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Picture by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

Hyundai’s Ott Tanak claimed the ultimate place on the rostrum in entrance of his residence followers, albeit some 1m55.7s adrift of Rovanpera.

The 2019 world champion held second on Friday morning earlier than a 10s penalty for failing to run in electrical mode throughout a EV solely zone dropped him to 3rd, however the Hyundai driver was unable to match the tempo of Rovanpera and Evans.

Reliability points stayed away from Neuville however a insecurity behind the wheel of an i20 N missing grip restricted the Belgian to a cushty fourth general, after benefiting from Esapekka Lappi’s puncture on Saturday, which dropped the Finn to seventh. 

Takamoto Katsuta’s rally started with a roll in shakedown however a measured drive in difficult moist circumstances at instances rewarded the Japanese driver with fifth.

It proved to be one other difficult rally for M-Sport Ford as Adrien Fourmaux emerged because the staff’s solely driver within the factors in seventh after dropping sixth to Lappi on the ultimate stage. The Frenchman produced arguably his finest drive of the season highlighted by a stage win on Saturday night time.

Crew-mate Craig Breen received the rally’s opening stage on Thursday and was firmly in competition working in fifth on Friday when he misjudged a left hander. The Irishman ran large and hit a hidden concrete publish, which broke the Puma’s entrance suspension, ending his podium hopes.

Nevertheless, the sister Pumas of Pierre-Louis Loubet and Gus Greensmith each retired on Sunday whereas sitting eighth and ninth. Loubet hit a rock that broken his entrance suspension whereas Greensmith suffered transmission failure.

Loubet and Greensmith had earlier been delayed by a roll on Friday and a puncture on Saturday, respectively.

The third Hyundai of Oliver Solberg reached the end however endured a troublesome rally because the Swede initially struggled with the dealing with of his i20 N.

A powersteering failure attributable to a run-in with a rock price him helpful time and got here on prime of 3m20s of penalties for being late from service and to the beginning of stage 8.

In WRC2, Skoda pilot Andreas Mikkelsen took the category win and eighth general after a misfire hampered nearest rival Teemu Suninen on the ultimate stage.

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