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HomeF1Tanak takes back-to-back WRC wins with Ypres Rally Belgium success

Tanak takes back-to-back WRC wins with Ypres Rally Belgium success


Ott Tanak stormed to Ypres Rally Belgium victory on Sunday afternoon to seal back-to-back FIA World Rally Championship wins.

The Estonian driver inherited the highest spot late on Saturday afternoon when Hyundai i20 N Rally1 teammate and long-time chief Thierry Neuville understeered off the highway and right into a ditch, shattering the Belgium’s hopes of a repeat house win.

Tanak, who received on the super-fast gravel of Rally Finland earlier this month, carried an 8.2s buffer over Toyota’s Elfyn Evans into Sunday’s closing leg, which comprised 4 brief, sharp phases within the Flanders area.

Evans, not one to surrender with no struggle, flew to quickest instances on the 2 opening phases in his GR Yaris Rally1, however was nonetheless unable to make any main beneficial properties on his rival.

When the morning’s two checks had been repeated within the afternoon, finishing the three-day rally’s 20 particular phases and 174.97 aggressive miles over difficult, slim and dusty asphalt roads, it was an identical story. Regardless of outpacing his rival by 2.2s within the finale, Welshman Evans was unable to overtake Tanak, who took the win by 5.0s.

Tanak’s success means he now trails championship chief Kalle Rovanpera — who rolled his Yaris out of rivalry on Friday morning — by 72 factors within the WRC drivers’ championship.

Rovanpera’s Toyota Gazoo Racing mechanics rebuilt the automobile in a single day and the 21-year-old Finn was capable of rejoin the occasion for the ultimate two legs, albeit out of rivalry for an general end result. He did salvage 5 bonus factors by profitable the rally-closing Wolf Energy Stage, and with solely 4 rallies and a most of 120 factors up for grabs, he stays on monitor to grow to be the youngest WRC champion in historical past.

The WRC producers’ championship scenario stays unchanged, with Tanak’s Hyundai Motorsport squad nonetheless 88 factors adrift of leaders Toyota Gazoo Racing.

“To win here’s a large shock for us — roughly the identical because it was in Finland,” stated Tanak. “We didn’t anticipate it from wherever mainly, however someway we had been capable of pull it collectively in the course of the rally.

“It’s nice to see that some outcomes are coming for us now, however there’s a lot we are able to enhance and we might nonetheless be lots stronger, so there’s nonetheless some work to do.”

For Evans, it was a case of what might have been. He gave away helpful seconds on Friday when a gradual puncture pressured him to run a spare wet-weather tire in dry situations. He additionally landed a 10s time penalty for arriving late to Friday’s closing stage. With out that, the end result might have been completely different…

Evans pushed the winner over the ultimate phases, however his first-day setbacks proved an excessive amount of to beat. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT photograph

Esapekka Lappi made it two GR Yaris machines on the rostrum, the Finn securing a lonely third on the finish of a trouble-free weekend the place a poor tire alternative on Friday was the one actual bump within the highway.

Lappi trailed Evans house by 1m36.6s, however held a large 1m46.9s benefit over fourth-placed Hyundai teen Oliver Solberg, who earned a career-best end result to banish all reminiscences of his early crash and retirement in Finland final outing.

Solberg had began Sunday locked into a decent scrap with M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux. Nevertheless, the Puma Rally1 driver crashed out within the penultimate stage, ending any probability of grabbing what would have been his career-best WRC end, too.

Younger Oliver Solberg was additionally a part of Hyundai’s success story in Belgium, taking a career-best fourth. McKlein / Motorsport Pictures

Fourmaux’s exit promoted Toyota growth driver Takamoto Katsuta to fifth general, a distant 2m37.6s behind Solberg. Though transmission and hybrid unit faults hampered the Japanese driver’s Belgian weekend, he’s now completed inside the highest six at each WRC spherical since Sweden in February.

In WRC2, the second tier of worldwide rallying, Stephane Lefebrvre accomplished a close to start-to-finish class victory — his first of the season — and took sixth place on the general leaderboard.

The Frenchman capitalized on native data gained from competing in Belgium’s nationwide championship to take the honors by 18.1s in his Citroen C3.

Lefebvre snatched the lead on Friday’s second stage after which held the place for the rally’s entirety. He briefly got here beneath menace from reigning WRC2 champ and present factors chief Andreas Mikkelsen on Saturday’s opening stage, however shortly upped the tempo to hold a 25.7s benefit into Sunday’s closing leg, the place a measured drive by way of the final 4 phases secured his win.

Stephane Lefebvre stood above the remainder just about all the best way in WRC2. Jaanus Ree / Crimson Bull Content material Pool

Mikkelsen remained second in school in his Skoda Fabia Evo and nonetheless leads the championship earlier than dropped scores are taken under consideration. However with two retirements already this season, victory right here would have been a serious assist in the Norwegian’s title protection.

Lefebvre’s compatriot Yohan Rossel introduced his Citroen house 51.0s additional again to say extra stable factors for third. He headed Britain’s Chris Ingram by 26.0s, with the Fabia driver additionally taking high factors in WRC2 Junior due to a gutsy Sunday drive.

The WRC is again on gravel subsequent month for the legendary Acropolis Rally Greece, Sept. 8-11. Including intrigue, rallying legend Sebastien Loeb can be making his fourth begin of the 12 months for M-Sport Ford. The French nine-time WRC champ received the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally in a Puma Rally1, and after M-Sport Ford’s tribulations in Belgium — maybe he’ll be capable of present a confidence-boosting end result on the tough, powerful Greek phases?

WRC Ypres Rally Belgium, closing positions after Day Three, SS20
1 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) 2h25m38.9s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +5.0s
3 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +1m41.6s
4 Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +3m28.5s
5 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +6m06.1s
6 Stephane Lefebvre/Xavier Portier (Citroen C3 – WRC2 winner) +9m45.7s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia Evo – WRC2) +10m03.8s
8 Yohan Rossel/Valentin Sarreaud (Citroen C3 – WRC2) +10m54.8s
9 Chris Ingram/Craig Drew (Skoda Fabia Evo – WRC2) +11m20.8s
10 Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Skoda Fabia Evo – WRC2) +11m26.8s

WRC Drivers’ Championship after 9 rounds
1
Kalle Rovanpera 203 factors
2 Tanak 131
3 Evans 116
4 Thierry Neuville 106
5 Katsuta 92

WRC Producers’ Championship after 9 rounds
1
Toyota Gazoo Racing 381 factors
2 Hyundai Motorsport 293
3 M-Sport Ford 188
4 TGR Subsequent Era 100

Take a look at WRC.com, the official house of the FIA World Rally Championship. And for the last word WRC expertise, join a WRC+ subscription to observe all phases of each rally stay and on demand, each time and wherever.

 

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