Rally surprise in Finland. Elphin Evans, a Toyota factory driver from Dolgella, a small town in Wales, wins this year’s fastest gravel rally. With his second win of the season, he narrowed the gap to championship leader and teammate Sebastian Ogier to just 24 points.
Outside, Evans controlled high-rated Hyundai Work drivers Ott Tenak from Estonia and Craig Breen from Ireland. “I can’t believe it. I did not think a victory was possible in Finland, ”Evans said.
He is now one of only 13 foreigners in a unique circle, from whom the Finns have taken their bread in 70 home games so far.
Evans took the lead on the morning of the second day in three stages with a series of personal bests. “I give 100 percent. But somehow the Elphin is always a little faster,” Breen was surprised. The world champion was 9.1 seconds short at this time.
Photo: JUSSI NUKARI / AFP
But the Toyota driver did not allow himself to be interrupted. He even dared to attack in the final “power stage”, which was dangerous given his tight lead. With another great time, he scored five extra points related.
On the other hand, Sebastian Ogier, the championship leader who won the 2013 rally Finland, did not really move forward this time. For the first time in almost a year, he had to position himself behind the Finn Especca Lappy, who was driving a world rally car (1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine, approximately 380 hp, all-wheel drive).
“To be honest, I don’t know why,” Ogier said confused. The reigning champion did not win even at a particular point. In addition, the 37-year-old was once awarded a penalty minute for not wearing a helmet properly. However, the fifth rank in the final result was not at risk. His leadership against British Ford driver Gus Greensimith was huge. With ten World Cup points, Ogier limited the damage.
This means that only two Toyota work drivers, Sebastian Ogier and Elphin Evan, will be considered World Rally Champions in 2021. Belgian Theory Newville, who finished third on the list and occupied Hyundai’s last hopes before the Finland round, also finished second. In fifth place, ahead of the Ozier, he had to park his i20 WRC because the engine radiator was damaged.
With two games left, Newville’s 60-point deficit cannot be filled. Reigning champion Hyundai should allow Toyota first in the brand world championship.
The next round of the World Championship Sport Rally is in Spain (October 14-17) in the region of South Catalonia, Barcelona.
Result Rally Finland
1. Elphin Evans / Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC), 2: 19: 13.7 hrs
2. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), +14.1 sec
3. Craig Breen / Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 coupe WRC), +42.2 seconds
4. Especca Lappy / Janne Firm (Toyota Yaris WRC), +58.8 seconds
5. Sebastian Ogier / Julian Ingrasia (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2: 54.4 minutes
6. Guess Greensmith / Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +5: 02.3 minutes
World Championship after 10 of 12 rallies
1. Sebastian Ozier (Toyota Yaris WRC), 190 Punk
2. Elphin Evans (Toyota Yaris WRC), 166 Punkte
3. Theory Newville (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), with 130 shares
4. Kalle Rowanper (Toyota Yaris WRC), with 129 shares
5. Ott Tänak (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC), 128 points
6. Craig Breen (Hyundai i20 coupe WRC), 76 punk
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