WRC Belgium: Tanak edges Evans to say Ypres victory - Motor Informed
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WRC Belgium: Tanak edges Evans to say Ypres victory

The 2019 world champion got here underneath strain from Evans early on Sunday morning’s asphalt phases earlier than occurring to seal the win by 5.0s. The victory arrived simply two weeks after his triumph in Rally Finland.

Tanak and co-driver Martin Jarveoja produced a faultless drive from begin to end. The Estonian was in competition from the start after ending Friday 2.5s shy of team-mate Thierry Neuville, who emerged within the lead at his dwelling occasion.

Tanak briefly snatched the lead away from Neuville on Saturday earlier than the latter produced a collection of blistering instances to claim his authority on the rally after claiming eight stage wins. A transmission problem for Tanak appeared to lower his victory hopes, whereas it assisted Neuville in constructing a lead that after stood at 18.3s.

Nonetheless, drama struck in Saturday’s penultimate stage when long-time chief Neuville understeered into tight left hander and crashed right into a ditch, handing the lead Tanak.

As soon as forward, Tanak was capable of fend off Evans, who had struggled to seek out the candy spot in his GR Yaris throughout nearly all of the rally. The Welshman misplaced time to a puncture and incurred a 10s penalty after a co-driving timing error, however did finish the occasion with 5 stage wins.

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

The ultimate podium spot was claimed by Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi, who managed to keep away from bother in what proved to be a rally of excessive attrition. It was the Finn’s second podium on them bounce after ending third in Finland earlier this month.

Championship chief Kalle Rovanpera made his first vital error of the season, when the Finn emerged unscathed from a collection of barrel rolls when his misjudged a nook in Stage 2 whereas main the rally.

Rovanpera rejoined the occasion after Toyota accomplished a restore on his severely broken GR Yaris. The 21-year-old salvaged the total 5 bonus factors after successful the rally ending energy stage, however Tanak’s win lowered his championship result in 74 factors.

Hyundai’s Oliver Solberg bounced again from crashing out in Finland by scoring fourth to web his profession greatest WRC end.

The 20-year-old produced a measured drive all through the tough 20 phases that precipitated bother for almost all of the Rally1 runners. Solberg confronted a battle with M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux for the place on the ultimate day earlier than the latter crashed out in spectacular trend on the penultimate stage.

Fourmaux held fourth spot early on Friday earlier than shedding a minute and a half when he sadly confronted a sudden downpour that dropped him down the order. The Frenchman steadily climbed the leaderboard as his rivals hit bother, however misplaced fourth late on Saturday when he checked into Stage 15 two minutes late after being held up by police on a highway part.

Nonetheless, Fourmaux compounded a disastrous weekend for M-Sport Ford when he ran right into a ditch and nearly flipped his Puma, throwing away a snug fifth place.

Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta inherited fifth to proceed his run of ending contained in the factors at each spherical this season. The Japanese driver fell away from the lead group on Friday when he suffered a gearbox problem that price him a number of minutes.

The subsequent greatest Rally1 finisher was M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith in 19th general after the Brit misplaced greater than six minutes after damaging his left rear from operating off the highway throughout Stage 10, when sitting sixth.

Gus Greensmith, Jonas Andersson, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Gus Greensmith, Jonas Andersson, M-Sport Ford World Rally Crew Ford Puma Rally1

Photograph by: M-Sport

The stage marked a darkish second for the crew as Craig Breen, holding fifth, made a mistake at a left hander moments later, which resulted in a heavy crash. The Puma ran right into a ditch which catapulted Breen into a number of rolls earlier than the automotive got here to relaxation the wrong way up.

The incident purple flagged the stage as Breen suffered his third crash in as many WRC rounds. The previous Ypres Rally winner returned to the motion on Sunday.

Stephane Lefebvre claimed the WRC2 honours from reigning champion Andreas Mikkelsen with Yohan Rossel third.

Former Method 1 driver Jos Verstappen led the Masters Cup Class on his WRC debut till the Dutchman crashed out on Stage 13.




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