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HomeWRC RacingSardinia success strengthens Rovanperä’s World Rally Championship lead

Sardinia success strengthens Rovanperä’s World Rally Championship lead

Sardinia success strengthens Rovanperä’s World Rally Championship lead

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Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Kalle Rovanperä added to his lead within the FIA World Rally Championship with a intelligent drive to the rostrum and a Energy Stage victory on a difficult Rally Italia Sardegna.

Confronted with sweeping unfastened gravel roads on Friday whereas working first on the highway, Rovanperä ran as little as eighth total earlier than a characteristically robust drive within the rain to win the 30-mile Monte Lerno stage lifted him and co-driver Jonne Halttunen to fourth on the finish of the day.

He was then certainly one of just a few drivers to keep away from bother on an eventful Saturday in wetter situations, gaining third total whereas additionally having to handle the restricted variety of softer compound tyres made accessible on what is generally a sizzling and abrasive rally.

Capable of preserve rubber via Sunday’s opening assessments, Rovanperä then produced a usually attacking drive on a soaking rally-ending Energy Stage on Sunday, setting the most effective time by 4.7 seconds. Taking the utmost 5 bonus factors so as to add to his third place total elevated his lead within the standings to 25 factors.

Elfyn Evans and co-driver Scott Martin ensured there have been two GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid vehicles within the high 4 on the end, recovering after dropping time on Saturday morning with injury from a deep watersplash. They set the fourth-best time within the Energy Stage, claiming extra factors for the producers’ championship which Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Crew proceed to steer by 23 factors.

Sébastien Ogier was main the rally with a robust drive earlier than a sequence of unlucky occasions on Saturday afternoon that culminated in him sliding off the muddy highway on stage 14. He returned to motion on Sunday and took fifth within the Energy Stage.

Takamoto Katsuta additionally restarted on Sunday morning in his TGR WRC Problem Program-supported entry and resumed the nice tempo he confirmed on Friday, including his second stage win of the weekend within the penultimate check and coming third within the Energy Stage.

Crew quotes

Akio Toyoda (TGR-WRT Chairman): “I wish to ship my appreciation for the onerous work of all TGR-WRT members. It should have been particularly powerful for Kalle and Jari-Matti who travelled backwards and forwards between Europe and Japan in a brief time period. I’m grateful to them for attaining the rostrum once more regardless of such a busy schedule.

“I used to be in Sardinia 4 years in the past, and on the ultimate day I used to be making ready to leap into the water with the crew members. However sadly we have been unable to try this in the long run. I keep in mind that I felt barely relieved that I didn’t must. Possibly due to that, our crew grew to become not so good at watersplashes… So I hope all people together with Seb, Elfyn and Takamoto turns the web page and strikes on to the subsequent occasion. That stated, I nonetheless hope I can bounce into the water at Sardinia sometime (though I heard it was not allowed this 12 months). I imagine the crew will proceed to enhance the automotive for driving via watersplashes.

“Safari Rally Kenya is in three weeks. Like Sardinia, it will likely be one other powerful rally, however evidently our crew could be very effectively preferred by the animals there. So I’m positive that our crew and crew will fascinate the individuals in Africa once more this 12 months.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Crew Principal): “This rally final 12 months was very tough for the crew when it comes to our efficiency, however this 12 months we have been trying a lot stronger and actually combating for the victory. There have been many challenges with numerous rain and slippery situations which introduced fairly a little bit of drama. Sadly the weekend didn’t turn into nearly as good for us because it possibly may have been. However within the Energy Stage we noticed a wonderful efficiency from Kalle to take the win there in addition to third place within the rally, which is giving him extra factors for the championship. It’s good too that Elfyn was additionally in a position to safe fourth to get some essential factors for the crew.”

Kalle Rovanperä (driver automotive 69): “We had a very good tyre package deal left for the ultimate day and it was very nice that we may subsequently push on the Energy Stage and eventually take the quickest time and 5 further factors. It was positively not simple, with numerous rain simply beforehand which was easing up a bit for the final vehicles, but it surely was a correct problem within the mud. This has all the time been a difficult occasion for me personally, and this weekend our plan was to attempt to be quick once we may be and take it regular when wanted and I believe we did that. We had fairly good tempo total and stayed out of bother and initially of the weekend I actually didn’t anticipate that we may finish it with this many factors.”

Elfyn Evans (driver automotive 33):“ At the moment it was only a case of getting the automotive via the primary three levels and attempting to take care of the tyres we had prepared for the Energy Stage. The situations actually modified rather a lot for the Energy Stage, it was raining very closely so it was fairly slippery however fortunately we managed to get via it OK. We’d have preferred to take some extra factors from there however a pair remains to be higher than nothing. After all the things that occurred this weekend I believe we’ve to be grateful to take fourth total and a few respectable factors even when we’re probably not pleased with how all the things went.”

Sébastien Ogier (Driver automotive 17): “Sunday was all concerning the Energy Stage and attempting to take some factors for the crew if we may. Once more, the climate made issues fairly tough on the finish of the rally, and the sensation was probably not there to take an excessive amount of danger in these situations. We completed with some respectable velocity but it surely was nothing loopy. So total it’s in all probability not a weekend we are going to keep in mind strongly however that’s the way in which it’s generally in sport and you must settle for it. There’s nonetheless numerous positives we will take with the velocity that we had this weekend, and let’s hope that on the subsequent one the luck will probably be again on our aspect.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA
1 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) 3h40m01.4s
2 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) +33.0s
3 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +1m55.3s
4 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +5m20.5s
5 Andreas Mikkelsen/Torstein Eriksen (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +9m33.3s
6 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Hyundai i20 Rally2) +11m48.9s
7 Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Maciej Szczepaniak (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +12m46.1s
8 Yohan Rossel/Arnaud Dunand (Citroën C3 Rally2) +12m53.5s
9 Miko Marczyk/Szymon Gospodarczyk (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +15m33.8s
10 Erik Cais/Petr Těšínský (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +16m49.4s
14 Sébastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid) +19m50.4s
(Outcomes as of 16:30 on Sunday, for the most recent outcomes please go to www.wrc.com)

What’s subsequent?
The legendary Safari Rally Kenya (22-25 June) is the one African spherical of the championship. Since returning to the WRC calendar in 2021, it continues to supply gruelling situations on tough and rocky roads in addition to excessive speeds throughout open plains.

ENDS

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