Home Sports Rally Rally Finland: Evans powers clear to build commanding lead

Rally Finland: Evans powers clear to build commanding lead

 

Elfyn Evans made major strides towards his second Secto Rally Finland triumph with a masterful attack through Saturday’s penultimate leg.

Channel 1

The Rally is being broadcast live on KBC Channel One and two more session are set to be televised tomorrow Sunday. Between 9.00am to 10.00am,East African Time, the Himos-Jamsa stage will be shown with the loop of the same stage being televised between 1.00PM-2.00PM East African Time.

Rain showers early in the day played to the Welshman’s favour and, while Thierry Neuville grappled with wheel spin in the wet conditions, Evans excelled.

Elfyn Evans was fastest on seven out of eight gravel road stages in the lightning-fast Finnish forests to transform what started as a 6.9sec buffer into a commanding 32.1sec stronghold in a Toyota GR Yaris, leaving Hyundai i20 N rival Thierry Neuville trailing in his wake.

Evans was equally at home in the repeated afternoon loop where the drying gravel roads became increasingly rutted.

With championship leader Kalle Rovanpera already sidelined by a crash on Friday, victory at this ninth WRC round is essential for Evans – currently second in the points – to keep his fading title hopes alive.

Although Neuville struggled to get his i20’s set-up completely dialled in with the changeable conditions, the Belgian was consistently quicker than the remainder of the field.

Toyota man Takamoto Katsuta, his closest challenger, lagged almost one minute behind. Katsuta dropped behind Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen after spinning in Paijala but reclaimed the final podium spot in SS15.

He yielded the position again in the following test but surged back in front by posting a benchmark time through the Vekkula finale.

The pair were split by 6.4sec at close of play. Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala was fifth, two minutes further back.

The 38-year-old, who is making his first WRC start since February 2020, overshot a junction in SS17 but relished the chance to drive on his home roads.

 

 

 

 

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