WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Delfi Rally Estonia
Estonia
Starts: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Sweden
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Sat 16 Jul 2022

Dominant Kalle distances team-mate Evans

Kalle Rovanperä almost doubled his Rally Estonia lead over team-mate Elfyn Evans on Saturday morning with a hat-trick of fastest times.

The Finn, who snatched top spot from Evans in Friday night’s rain-soaked finale, conceded a few tenths in Saturday’s short opening speed test at Elva before punching in a terrific treble to stretch his advantage to 19.1sec.

The Toyota GR Yaris driver admitted he was caught napping in Elva before getting his game together for the next three stages.

“I had a really bad stage, I was losing seconds everywhere and wasn’t happy with my run at all,” he explained. “I was not so awake as I normally am and not where I wanted to be but the last two stages were nice.

“We changed something on the car and it got better. We just tried to gain a bit more grip from the car and it seemed to work in a few places quite well.”

Sporadic showers mixed with sunshine offered inconsistent grip across the quartet of stages and Evans confessed he was too hesitant in places to match Rovanperä.

“I need to be a bit more consistently fast this afternoon,” he said. “We know here it’s very difficult to make a big advantage so it’s even more important not to give any time away.”

Ott Tänak had a consistent and troublefree morning to retain third, 38.5sec behind Evans. The Estonian, who scored three top three times, fine-tuned his Hyundai i20 N’s brake settings en route after a rush to complete the job list in this morning’s 15-minute service.

He was followed by team-mate Thierry Neuville, 52.5sec adrift, in fourth after Esapekka Lappi stopped to change a puncture in Otepää after a heavy landing and dropped 2min 30sec. Lappi’s woes were compounded when the jack in his GR Yaris failed to work.

Neuville carried a smile all morning as his confidence improved and the Belgian had more than a minute in hand over Takamoto Katsuta. The Japanese GR Yaris pilot clawed his way past Adrien Fourmaux to return to service 6.3sec clear of the Ford Puma man.

Lappi was a minute adrift of Fourmaux and almost 55sec clear of Pierre-Louis Loubet’s Puma in eighth. Loubet demoted team-mate Gus Greensmith, who also changed a wheel in Otepää after a heavy sideways landing damaged the tyre.

WRC2 leader Andreas Mikkelsen completed the leaderboard in a Škoda Fabia, despite losing a handful of seconds in the last Neeruti stage with a puncture.

Oliver Solberg’s troubles continued when the Swede stopped in Otepää to clear grass wedged in the radiator grille of his i20 N as the engine temperature soared. He was 23rd.

• Full coverage from Rally Estonia is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

Video: Fans help Pierre-Louis Loubet after his roll
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