Kalle Rovanperä firmly in the lead after Saturday in Poland

Reigning two-time world champion Kalle Rovanperä continued to widen the gap at the top of Rally Poland this afternoon, after regaining control of the rally this morning.

Published on 29/06/2024 à 19:12

Michael Duforest

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Kalle Rovanperä firmly in the lead after Saturday in Poland

© DPPI

Imperial, the Finn won the three stages of this second loop of Saturday, to lead with a 9″ lead over Andreas Mikkelsen. The pilot Toyota admitted, he needed a little time to get into the rhythm of a rally in which he was not supposed to participate (he replaces at short notice Sébastien Ogier, hurt). A second loop on the same special stages as this morning therefore presented a great opportunity to increase his lead, thus having a little knowledge of special stages crossed.

While Rovanperä has mainly chosen soft tires on its Yaris WRC, it turned out to be a smart choice, although one that worried the young Finn. Convinced that Mikkelsen, who had three hard tires on his Hyundai, was going to beat him on the last special of the day, Rovanperä appeared quite disappointed at the end of the 14th special. It ultimately didn't happen, Mikkelsen estimating that the heavy tire wear on the first of the three afternoon stages was more significant than on the last two stages.

However, one name is not mentioned in the fight for victory, although he finished the mid-day Super Special four tenths behind Rovanperä, it is Elfyn Evans! The Welshman suffered a left-rear puncture in the first of three afternoon stages, losing eight seconds. In total, he is now 16″1 behind, and he is in third place in this Rally of Poland, ahead of a Adrien fourmaux solid, which is 21 seconds from the podium, and 21 seconds ahead of fifth place.

Neuville remains behind Sesks

A fifth place destined for Thierry Neuville, picked up like cuckoo in the afternoon specials. However, the Belgian driver has found a worthy opponent in Martins Sesks, who is competing in his first WRC rally in Rally1, on a Ford Puma without a hybrid system! On the wire, the Latvian managed to save his fifth place this Saturday, by a tiny tenth of a second! A not so anecdotal position, because if Sesks does not score points in the championship and therefore does not cause Neuville to lose any, the Belgian from Hyundai will have to leave before the Latvian on the road tomorrow, and will thus sweep a little more. The damage limitation operation will therefore be initiated.

In a way, Neuville can thank his teammate Ott Tänak, who will be the first to enter this Sunday's special stages, following his encounter with an animal in the first special stage on Friday. The Estonian did not take part in the afternoon specials, in order to preserve his mount as much as possible before a “Super Sunday” which he will want to lead with flying colors.

Finally, in the WRC2 category, while the fight for victory seemed to be over following the exit of Kajetan Kajetanowicz this morning, Oliver Solberg completed three great special stages to come back to 26″3 behind leader Sami Pajari! The two men should have a good fight for victory this Sunday, unless Robert Virves, third and very fast since the start of the weekend, comes to beat them on the post...

Rally Poland – General classification after SS15

ALSO READ > Rovanperä and Evans separated by four tenths after a fast morning in Poland

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1 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

29/06/2024 at 09:05 a.m.

The intermittent performer in the WRC must disgust those who do the WRC full time with his driving skills and his mastery...

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