Toyota’s Elfyn Evans now leads FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) after winning Rally Turkey as both Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak suffered heavily.
It was a steady start for Evans (co-driver Scott Martin) in WRC Rally Turkey in his Toyota Yaris, as he stood just outside the podium spots in the early stages. It was such a scene that he only got the lead on Sunday morning, having won SS9.
Evans was helped by the problems faced by the WRC title contenders Ogier (co-driver Julien Ingrassia) in his Toyota Yaris and Tanak (co-driver Martin Jarveoja) in his Hyundai i20, where the latter was forced to retire from Saturday’s proceedings after an off.
He was already on the backfoot as Ogier did not have the smoothest of time on Saturday as well, with his ultimate end coming on Sunday. The Frenchman had puncture and electronic issues but hung on to be third still after SS8.
However, another puncture in SS11 and an engine fire threw him off the podium, after having won SS2, SS3 and SS4. Ogier’s fall back allowed Hyundai duo of Thierry Neuville (co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul) and Sebastien Loeb (co-driver Daniel Elena) back in the game.
Loeb started WRC Rally Turkey well on Friday by topping the day but couldn’t really push on, even though he always stayed around the Top 5 spot. His SS8 win helped him to be in a good spot to secure a podium finish and Ogier’s fall allowed that to happen.
Meanwhile, Neuville was consistent all-through, with wins in SS1, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS10, SS11 and SS12 – the Power Stage. Despite his late push, the Belgian was way off Evans, who scored his second win in 2020 WRC season in Rally Turkey by a massive 35.2s margin.
Loeb’s third place made it Hyundai 2-3 as Toyota’s Kalle Rovenpera (co-driver Jonne Halttunen) ended up fourth after surviving a puncture on Saturday. M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith (co-driver Elliott Edmonson) rounded the Top 5.
His M-Sport teammate Esapekka Lappi (co-driver Janne Ferm) in the Ford Fiesta was sixth to round out the WRC runners as even Teemu Suninen (co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen) retired with suspension issues in a crazy end to Rally Turkey.
The win for Evans has helped him take over the WRC championship lead with 97 points to his name from Ogier, who has 79, while Tanak and Rovenpera are third and fourth, respectively, even though they are tied on 70 points.
Here’s full results: https://www.wrc.com/en/wrcplus/live-timing/
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