Great Britain Debrief: Part One
In the first instalment of our Dayinsure Wales Rally GB review, we pinpoint our stage of the rally, a bizarre advertising moment that put Wales on the map and a potentially crucial turning point in the title fight.
Stage of the rally
On Sunday morning, the battle for victory was finely poised. Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala traded fastest times as the lead swung to and fro. But on the penultimate stage – Gwydir 2 – Ogier struck a decisive blow.
Latvala said he’d ‘take his hat off’ to the Frenchman if he could beat his then-fastest stage time. Ogier didn’t just beat it, he smashed it. He went 3.3sec faster than the Finn to regain the lead he held until the end.
One to forget
Twelve months ago, Elfyn Evans was on top of the world as he secured his maiden WRC victory in front of his home fans.
The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver was hoping for a repeat performance when the action returned to Wales. Things got off to a good start when he completed Friday morning’s stages in second, just 8.9sec behind Ott Tänak.
But his hopes of challenging for a Welsh double were ended that afternoon as his Fiesta ground to a halt on a road section with a broken sensor which caused a terminal misfire.
You’ll Never Believe it…
We are used to seeing aeroplanes towing advertising banners at large sporting events, but Mads Østberg gave us a glimpse of a new ground-level version in Wales.
The Norwegian clipped a ‘Visit Wales’ advertising banner with his Citroën C3 on Saturday afternoon and, with it entangled on his car’s wing mirror, he ended up dragging it all the way to the end of the stage.
Certainly an eye-catching moment for the TV cameras – but we’re not sure this new method of mobile advertising will catch on.
On Saturday afternoon, Tänak sat comfortably at the top of the leaderboard, visualising his fourth win in a row.
But that dream swiftly turned into a nightmare when a broken radiator stopped his Yaris on the Sweet Lamb Hafren 2 test.
His retirement handed Ogier the lead and boosted the Frenchman’s championship aspirations with two events remaining.
Neuville remains resolute
Belgian refuses to dwell on recent results
Tänak: GB exit a career low
Estonian’s winning run ended in Wales
Wilson fears reliability woes
M-Sport Ford boss hoping to avoid retirements