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Sat 20 Apr 2024

🔴 Croatia Rally LIVE: SS13 – Toyota tyre tactics propel Evans into the lead

Elfyn Evans reclaimed the Croatia Rally lead on Saturday afternoon after his Toyota Gazoo Racing team’s tyre strategy worked wonders in SS13.

Welshman Evans, along with colleagues Sébastien Ogier and Takamoto Katsuta, is carrying four soft compound and two wet-weather tyres on board his GR Yaris Rally1 this afternoon. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, who led by 4.7sec at the midday service, opted for a more diverse rubber package comprising two hards, two softs and two wets.

Toyota’s selection proved to be optimal for SS13 at Smerovišće – Grdanjci, which saw light droplets of rain in some sections. Reaping the benefits of their soft Pirellis, Evans and Ogier posted the first and second-best times. Evans stormed into the lead as Neuville dropped 6.7sec while struggling to make the hard rubber on the front of his Hyundai work.

“Obviously they’re on different tyres,” Neuville said. “I pushed very hard, but I knew I was losing time.”

Evans, whose lead stood at just 2.0sec with three of the day’s stages still remaining, admitted that it would be interesting to see if the strategy would pay off across the loop’s entirety.

“I don’t know if the tyre choice will pay off,” he remarked. “It’s difficult to predict, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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