Elfyn Evans is on a roll at the Secto Rally Finland! He blazed through Saturday, dominating seven out of the eight stages in the fast-paced Finnish forests. Starting the day with a modest 6.9-second lead, he stretched that to an impressive 32.1 seconds, all while driving his trusty Toyota GR Yaris. Thierry Neuville, racing in his Hyundai i20 N, has his work cut out for him trying to close that gap.
The morning saw a touch of rain, but it seemed to favor Evans. While Neuville struggled a bit with the wet conditions, Evans appeared unstoppable, especially as the afternoon roads turned challenging.
Here’s an update on the championship dynamics: with Kalle Rovanperä bowing out due to a crash on Friday, this round becomes pivotal for Evans if he’s to keep his championship aspirations alive. And he seems pretty upbeat about his chances! “Obviously it’s a nice position to be in,” he shared, “but there are still more stages to come tomorrow.”[rl_gallery id=”19466″]
Though Neuville had his struggles adapting to the varying weather, he maintained a pace faster than most of the competition. Takamoto Katsuta from Toyota was about a minute behind him. And in a seesaw battle with Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen, by day’s end, they were separated by just 6.4 seconds.
Jari-Matti Latvala, the rally veteran, and Toyota’s team principal, seemed to be enjoying himself too. Even though he was in fifth place and had a minor hiccup in SS17, he seemed overjoyed to be racing on his homeland’s roads after such a long hiatus.
Let’s also give a nod to Oliver Solberg, who’s climbed to sixth. Though he won’t be bagging WRC2 points this week, he’s making waves in his Fabia RS Rally2.
For Sunday, the plan is four rigorous stages spanning 51.64km. All eyes are on the bonus points up for grabs in the Wolf Power Stage.
Hold onto your hats, everyone! The finale promises some thrilling rally action.