Great Britain debrief:
We reflect on last weekend's Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, a thrilling event for so many reasons – but one that some will want to banish from their memories as quickly as possible.
Driver of the rally
This really was the best rally of the Welshman Elfyn Evans's (pictured bottom) career so far and marked his coming of age as a top-level WRC driver. Okay, he had the benefit of DMACK's newly-developed soft tyres (perfect on wet and muddy stages) and part of the rally route passed within a few kilometres of his home, but it takes a lot more than that to win Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. Elfyn needed to show immense skill and determination last weekend. Thankfully for him, he had both of those qualities in abundant supply.
Stage of the rally
The first of Saturday's night stages, the 13.91km run through Aberhirnant 2 threw up some of Wales's most tricky conditions: darkness, light rain – and thick fog. Kris Meeke complained that he couldn't see past the end of his Citroën C3's bonnet and Thierry Neuville, the fastest man on the previous stage, dropped 33.8sec and lost his second place in dramatic style. This was Wales Rally GB at its best – not that all the drivers agreed.
Turning point of the rally
Having fallen behind in the race for the WRC drivers' title in Spain the previous month, Thierry Neuville was hoping to make a fast start in Wales to keep the pressure on points leader Sébastien Ogier. However, the Belgian was on the back foot from the first stage after he picked up an unwanted 10sec road penalty for arriving late at the Tir Prince super special. If his i20 WRC had fired up as planned on Thursday night, his rally might have been completely different.
You'll never believe it
This year's Rally GB fell on the same weekend that Britain put its clocks back an hour and moved onto winter time. The number of reminders in the lead up to this important event was extensive. But the message didn't quite filter through to WRC 2 driver Pedro Heller. Thanks to a complicated timing error, the Chilean was 26min late arriving at the service park on Sunday morning and was late checking out of parc fermé. His reward was a 4m20sec penalty and that meant the best he could finish was 42nd.
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