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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Rovanpera preserves lead as Hyundai hits extra hassle

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After build up a sizeable lead by way of Friday and Saturday, Toyota’s Rovanpera might afford to take a measured method, finishing the trio of phases with a 1m53.5s rally lead over team-mate Takamoto Katsuta, with M-Sport-Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux third [+2m57.4s].

Evans maintained fourth place [+4m51.1s] sitting 0.3s behind Tanak within the Sunday classification, the place a most of seven factors are on supply to the quickest driver.

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Neuville held on to fifth total, however a collision with a rock broken his rear suspension, dropping him from the Sunday classification result in third 12.3s behind Tanak.

Hyundai made its Tremendous Sunday technique fairly clear as Neuville, Tanak and Lappi went on the assault within the day’s first stage in quest of clawing again much-needed championship factors.

Fired up after a gas system drawback value him a podium place on Saturday, Neuville threw warning to the wind in maybe the roughest take a look at of the rally thus far.

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The Belgian’s maximum-attack technique was rewarded with a quickest time within the extraordinarily rocky Malewa stage, 8.33km.

“At one level I misplaced the rear, and I assumed I had a puncture, however I did not so I pushed on. It was very robust in there. It’s necessary to take some factors right here, necessary to get by way of clear,” mentioned Neuville.

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Tanak trailed Neuville by 4.7s though he mentioned “it didn’t really feel pure to push” in such tough circumstances. Lappi was third quickest however his Safari dangerous luck took one other twist, ending the stage along with his right-rear tyre off the rim. Lappi and Tanak took just one spare wheel.

Sitting fourth total, Evans felt he’d judged the circumstances completely however was shocked by the Hyundai tempo after reaching the end 10.7s adrift.

“I used to be considering it was higher, however clearly the blokes do not care concerning the automobiles or the tyres,” mentioned Evans.

Evans’ considerations have been highlighted by the actual fact his team-mate Katsuta ended the stage with a front-left puncture.  

“It was a lottery stage, fairly silly to be sincere. The rocks are transferring on a regular basis and [it is] unimaginable to know the place they’re,” mentioned Katsuta, whose hole over third-placed-overall Fourmaux decreased to 56.3s.

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

Fourmaux and rally chief Rovanpera opted for a cautious method by way of the stage, setting the sixth and seventh quickest occasions behind returning M-Sport driver Gregoire Munster after his suspension failure on Saturday.

Stage 15 [Oserian, 18.33km] supplied up a a lot smoother and extra forgiving street floor to the crews.  

Regardless of a wild second working vast at a left-hander, Evans got here by way of to win the stage and transfer as much as third within the Tremendous Sunday factors classification.

The Toyota driver was 3.2s quicker than Tanak with Neuville sustaining his Sunday assault in third, 5.5s adrift.

Katsuta headed Fourmaux, Rovanpera, Lappi and Munster to finish the highest eight within the stage.

The ultimate stage of loop offered but extra drama for Hyundai as all three drivers hit hassle. First, Lappi suffered the second transmission problem of the week that decreased the Finn to a crawl.

Tanak then misplaced time to a spin within the stage as he tried to keep away from boulders that had been dragged out onto the street by earlier runners. The Estonian solely dropped 2.6s to stage winner Evans, who survived the take a look at unscathed.

Neuville wasn’t so lucky as he clouted an enormous rock along with his right-rear, which broke his suspension. Fortunately, he was capable of nurse the automobile to the end earlier than heading again to service.

Katsuta, Fourmaux, Rovanpera and Munster managed to keep away from the hazards to finish the stage.  

In WRC2, Gus Greensmith delivered a measured drive to take care of his class lead in sixth total. The British driver, who has been battling a abdomen bug, led Oliver Solberg, sitting seventh, by 1m54.4s.

The crews will repeat the trio of phases this afternoon.    

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