The Hyundai driver appeared to lock up beneath braking on the extremely slippery moist asphalt, plagued by leaves and pine needles, and went off the highway, 11.8km into the Isegami’s Tunnel stage (24.67km). Sordo’s i20N darted to left earlier than swiping some timber because the automotive slid down an embankment.
Each driver and co-driver Candido Carrera have been reported to be okay, however with the automotive in a precarious place organisers elected to pink flag the stage, with solely six vehicles finishing the take a look at.
Sordo retired from rally on the identical stage final 12 months when his automotive went up in flames.
The Hyundai driver wasn’t the one Rally1 competitor to hit hassle as dwelling hero Takamoto Katsuta had a second on the identical nook as Sordo simply minutes earlier than the Spaniard.
Katsuta was setting the tempo earlier than he suffered a spin and broken the radiator of his i20N. He managed to succeed in the stage finish however beneath pink flag circumstances. He pulled off on the next highway part to endure repairs on his automotive.
M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux, on his return to Rally1 competitors, additionally went off the highway and failed to succeed in the stage finish.
Photograph by: Toyota Racing
Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
Previous to the stoppage, Toyota’s Elfyn Evans, beginning second on the highway, produced a surprising drive in massively difficult circumstances to publish the benchmark time to maneuver from ninth to the general lead.
Evans was 32.3s sooner than world champion Kalle Rovanpera, who confronted the worst of the highway circumstances.
“These circumstances are essentially the most tough I’ve seen all 12 months, it’s much more tough than Central Europe,” mentioned Rovanpera.
“There are such a lot of pine needles on the highway and its positively going to scrub for the later vehicles.”
Evans in the end took the stage win by 4.0s from Toyota team-mate Sebastien Ogier to guide the rally by 3.8s from the Frenchman. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was third quickest on the stage to climb to 3rd general (+15.9s).
Stage two continued after a prolonged stoppage.