Evans extends Rally GB lead

2017-10-27 21:04:54

Elfyn Evans has extended his advantage after the afternoon loop of stages on Wales Rally GB and has 24.6 seconds in hand in his DMACK-shod Fiesta WRC. The Welshman tops an impressive 1-2-3 for M-Sport with teammates Ott Tanak and Sébastien Ogier second and third, the pair split by just 2.2 seconds after 120 kilometers of competition.

Evans carried this morning's momentum through the repeated stages and again won the opener, more than doubling his advantage over Tanak who was nearly nine seconds slower than the Welshman. While the Fiesta driver had to concede victories on the following two stages, he has shone on home soil throughout the day on muddy stages that have suited his tire package. Tanak has dropped time to Ogier this afternoon, the Estonian frustrated with the brake balance on his Fiesta but managing to keep ahead of his teammate and Championship rival as the crews head into the toughest day of the rally tomorrow. Ogier claimed victory in the second stage, his first of the day, after a better run through the afternoon stages.

Thierry Neuville has climbed the order from seventh to fourth thanks to a final stage win; he is 10.3 seconds adrift of Ogier and will doubtless be ruing last night's 10-second penalty. Jari-Matti Latvala heads the Toyota challenge in fifth with Ulsterman Kris Meeke a mere one-tenth of a second behind. Latvala felt the car was better this afternoon but struggled for traction in the final stage, while Meeke has been pleased with his performance, especially considering his road position.

Andreas Mikkelsen is a further 10 seconds adrift after an uneventful day and his two teammates Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon are further back in eighth and ninth. Juho Hanninen continues to hold 10th, the Finn struggling at this event, along with his teammate Esapekka Lappi. After picking up a puncture and dropping time this morning, Craig Breen's rally got worse when he slipped into a ditch and was forced out for the day.

The FIA WRC 2 Championship is in the control of provisional champion Pontus Tidemand. The Swede has nearly 45 seconds in hand to Frenchman Eric Camilli with Tom Cave holding third. Raphael Astier continues to lead WRC 3, ahead of the only other competitor in the category, Enrico Brazzoli.

Wales Rally GB – Provisional results after Section 3

1.   Eflyn Evans / Daniel Barritt

Ford Fiesta WRC

1hr 09min 20.9sec

2.   Ott Tanak / Martin Jarveoja

Ford Fiesta WRC

1hr 09min 45.5sec

3.   Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia

Ford Fiesta WRC

1hr 09min 47.7sec

4.   Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

1hr 09min 58.0sec

5.   Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila

Toyota Yaris WRC

1hr 10min 02.8sec

6.   Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle

Citroën C3 WRC

1hr 10min 02.9sec

7.   Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

1hr 10min 12.9sec

8.   Dani Sordo / Marc Marti

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

1hr 10min 34.8sec

9.   Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

1hr 10min 43.8sec

10. Juho Hanninen / Kaj Lindstrom

Toyota Yaris WRC

1hr 11min 04.4sec

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