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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Rovanpera rolls out of WRC Rally Finland lead

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Rovanpera and co-driver Jonne Halttunen misplaced management of their GR Yaris going over a crest 11.1km into the well-known Myhinpaa stage.

The Finnish duo rolled earlier than finally coming to a halt the other way up on the fringe of the gravel highway.

Rovanpera and Halttunen emerged from the incident unscathed, whereas the broken automobile was rolled again onto its wheels a number of minutes after the incident however remained stranded within the take a look at.

The crash got here as a shock to many given Rovanpera held a 5.7s rally lead over Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans heading into stage eight and gave the impression to be in management after successful the earlier 5 levels.

The incident has handed the rally result in Evans with the 2021 Rally Finland winner 10.9s forward of Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, whereas the Toyota of Takamoto Katsuta sits third, 13.3s adrift.

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“I’ve heard that driver and co-driver are secure and that’s the most necessary factor for our crew,” mentioned Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, who has been drafted in as appearing crew principal this weekend with Jari-Matti Latvala competing.    

“The automobile we don’t find out about but so we are going to examine after which we can provide you extra detailed info.” 

Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Rovanpera’s exit is the newest of a string of dramatic occasions on Friday that has already seen M-Sport duo Ott Tanak and Pierre-Louis Loubet retire along with Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi

Tanak suffered an engine failure after a rock ripped the sump guard from his Ford Puma simply moments earlier than Loubet crashed out in stage three.

Lappi crashed out of fourth place when the Finn misjudged a right-hander in stage 5. Lappi misplaced management of his i20 N which then suffered a heavy affect with the timber lining the stage.

He and co-driver Janne Ferm had been additionally reported to be okay after the crash though Lappi has suffered a swollen ankle, whereas Ferm has been taken to hospital for a precautionary x-ray on his ribs.   

The high-profile Rally1 retirements leaves solely 5 prime degree vehicles remaining with Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen in fourth forward of Jari-Matti Latvala, making his first WRC begin since 2020 driving a fourth Toyota. 

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