Five things we loved in Turkey

Rally Turkey was the WRC’s first genuinely new fixture since the championship arrived in Coffs Harbour in 2011 for a fresh-looking Australian encounter.

What a cracker it was – both on and off the special stages. We wrap up our Turkey reflections with our five favourite things from round 10 of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Incredible drama
For fans who enjoy their WRC action with bucket-loads of excitement, Saturday’s second leg came with the biggest bucket we’ve witnessed for a long time.

The drama of Thierry Neuville’s suspension making a bid for freedom through the bonnet of his Hyundai i20 and his fevered efforts to repair it, combined with Sébastien Ogier’s own struggles to fit a new wishbone, provided a remarkable morning’s viewing on WRC All Live.

Ogier’s subsequent crash, Esapekka Lappi’s mistake which left his Toyota Yaris teetering on the edge of a drop before eventually plunging down the embankment and the sad sight of Craig Breen’s burning Citroën C3 left us breathless.

Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan greeted the top three on the podium

Presidential visit
The hot, dusty and weary podium trio was welcomed home to the service park celebrations by Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - an indication of the importance of this new fixture within the country.

Off-stage fun
Turkey brought much more than just on-stage action. A glamorous pre-event fashion show featuring international models, nightly music entertainment in Marmaris, town centre activities ahead of the opening night harbourside super-special stage – just some of the activities that supplemented the rally.

Scenery
Stunning. Mountains and coastal views combined to provide picture postcard vistas.

The challenge
Searing heat and tough gravel speed tests combined to provide a challenge where drivers had to think carefully about their strategy, rather than merely keeping their right foot planted to the floor. Ott Tänak did so sublimely.

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