The beginning of the World Rally Championship season had been eventful for Rallye Monte-Carlo and Arctic Rally Finland. Rally Croatia, entered for the primary time on the WRC calendar, pushed the depth to its limits.
Sébastien Ogier snatched the victory for Zero-6 in opposition to his team-mate Elfyn Evans after an exciting Energy Stage till the final second. Chief earlier than this final timed sector, the Welshman made the hole an excessive amount of in view of the end line, sufficient to drop four “5 and slide to second row. Winners of their second rally of the season after their success at Monte-Carlo final January, the Frenchman and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia signed their 51st WRC victory, and regained the lead within the championship.
Thierry Neuville gave every little thing this weekend like this error within the Energy Stage, costing him just a few further seconds. Chief throughout the first stage, the Belgian might certainly have aimed for a greater outcome with out a poor alternative of tires throughout the morning loop on Saturday.
Winner in February on the Finnish snow, Ott Tänak has by no means been in a position to repeat his efficiency on the Croatian specials. Removed from her “consolation zone” on the asphalt, the World Champion confirmed that he nonetheless had work to do on this floor.
Past the battle for the victory which can have monopolized the glances, the efficiency of Adrien Fourmaux overflowed with maturity all through this weekend in Croatia. The Northerner made a replica near good. An in the end inconsequential error in SS18 didn’t stop him from securing an impressive prime 5! Such a outcome ought to logically enable him to seek out the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC.
Interlaced sixth among the many M-Sport drivers, Takamoto Katsuta most likely signed his finest rally because the begin of his WRC profession. Typically properly positioned on the timesheet, the Japanese notably set two finest occasions (SS10 and SS14) to equal his finest outcome.
Earlier than giving strategy to Dani Sordo in Portugal, Craig Breen missed the chance to place himself ahead. Missing benchmarks initially of the rally, the Northern Irishman was by no means in a position to compete with the main males. A puncture initially of the second day (SS9) then positively dampened his prime 5 hopes.
Mads Østberg has launched his season ideally. For his return to WRC2, the Norwegian scored his first success of the 12 months, beating Teemu Suninen and Marco Bulacia in the long run. Chief of the championship when arriving in Croatia, Andreas Mikkelsen was sidelined from the battle for victory in SS2 following a mechanical breakdown. The Toksport WRT workforce pilot however consoled himself by flying over the Energy Stage.
ES17: E. Evans
ES18: E. Evans
ES19: T. Neuville
ES20: S. Ogier
1. S. Ogier (5 pts)
2. C. Breen (four pts)
three. T. Neuville (three pts)
four. E. Evans (2 pts)
5. O. Tänak (1 pt)
Rally Croatia – Ultimate Classification
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