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Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
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Fri 22 Sep 2023

Rally Rewind: Chile 2019

Visited just once previously, Chile returns to the FIA World Rally Championship calendar for stop 11 of 13 next week. Here’s what happened there four years ago.

Recovering Tänak wins on Chile debut
Spurred by the fact he’d been denied victory by electrical problems at the previous round in Argentina, Ott Tänak’s Toyota Yaris World Rally Car had undergone a series of subtle technological updates in readiness for Chile. One of those tweaks, for example, was the revising of the tightening torque values for the car’s electrical system parts.


The adjustments clearly worked as Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja completed the three-day, 16-stage fixture without mechanical issues. The Estonian pair built a 22.4-second advantage over Sébastien Ogier after day one and extended it further on Saturday, despite being the only crew to carry two spare wheels in what were surprisingly abrasive conditions.


Winning the event by 23.1sec, Tänak’s triumph reignited his title ambitions and he’d go on to lift the drivers’ championship trophy later that year.

Neuville’s dramatic exit
Thierry Neuville experienced what was arguably the biggest crash of his entire career when he barrel-rolled his Hyundai i20 midway through Saturday’s Maria Las Cruces stage.


Leading the championship beforehand, an ‘optimistic’ pace note caused the Belgian to run wide on a crest and he clipped a banking on the left side of the road. From then on, he and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were passengers.


Neuville sustained a minor injury to his left leg but was back behind the wheel just one week later, testing for Vodafone Rally de Portugal.



Rovanperä shades Østberg in WRC2 Pro battle
When championship leader Kalle Rovanperä arrives to Concepción next week, he’ll be able to count on the experience he gained in 2019 whilst driving a factory-entered Škoda Fabia R5 to victory in the WRC2 Pro category.


The Finn started on the back foot and lost ground to Citroën C3 rival Mads Østberg in the early stages whilst reporting a lack of traction. But in the 30.72km-long El Puma test, Rovanperä overturned the 10.9-second deficit and stormed into the lead.


By close of proceedings, Rovanperä headed Østberg by 23.6sec and finished an impressive eighth in the overall standings.

Meeke on a roll
Kris Meeke plummeted down the order when he rolled his Toyota on Saturday’s opener at Rio Lia. Although it was a slow incident which caused minimal damage, he and co-driver Seb Marshall lost several minutes as they fought to get going again.


After arriving to the following stage, Meeke and Marshall removed the car’s damaged windscreen to complete the remaining two speed tests before service. Because they did so within the control area between TC8 and SS8, the pair were handed a further one-minute time penalty for contravening article 42.1.2 of the FIA WRC sporting regulations.