The Toyota driver headed into the gravel occasion off the again of three consecutive wins, with two of these coming from being first on the highway.
Nonetheless, Sardinia’s tough roads coupled with scorching temperatures supplied a a lot more durable problem for Rovanpera given his highway place.
Rovanpera struggled to match the outright tempo of his rivals and was fortunate to outlive a scare on Stage 4 that ripped a big part of his rear wing from his GR Yaris.
Regardless of struggling to really feel comfy on the unfastened phases, he managed to succeed in the end in fifth place, whereas claiming 4 bonus factors on the ultimate powerstage.
It was sufficient to increase his championship lead over Thierry Neuville to 55 factors after the Hyundai driver left Sardinia with solely 5 powerstage factors. Neuville misplaced two minutes to a transmission concern on Friday, earlier than rolling his i20 N into retirement on Saturday.
“In fact, we knew rather well that it was going to be actually vital to have good factors and if you may get greater than Thierry that’s already sufficient,” stated Rovanpera.
“The one aim for the ultimate day was to realize some factors on the powerstage and we picked up 4 factors and fifth place within the rally.
“We knew that we simply wanted to be intelligent and we did that and we acquired extra factors than Thierry, so we will be fairly proud of that.
Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
“I used to be a bit dissatisfied with the sensation of the automotive on the final stage.
“I used to be struggling lots with the automotive and preventing some points with the steering which was actually tough. I had some moments and errors so for certain I couldn’t be totally completely happy.
“This was a troublesome weekend and I’m glad it’s over.”
Evans was pressured to retire from the lead on Friday attributable to a water leak, earlier than a rear suspension concern put him out of Saturday’s motion. The Welshman did rejoin the rally on Sunday to assert three powerstage factors.
Lappi, who returned to the third automotive instead of the Le Mans-bound Sebastien Ogier, led heading into Saturday earlier than crashing out on Stage 10. The Finn returned to choose up two factors on the ultimate stage.