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Rovanpera Takes the Lead in Poland


On the third day of the Orlen 80th Rally Poland, part of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the lead changed hands again with Kalle Rovanperä emerging at the top after a strong performance throughout the day.

Kalle Rovanperä Claims the Lead

Kalle Rovanperä finished the third day with a powerful performance, securing his position at the top. In SS11, he was 0.8 seconds faster than Adrien Fourmaux, maintaining his overall lead. “Despite the lack of preparation, constantly driving in fifth gear was quite scary,” Rovanperä remarked.

In SS14, he extended his lead by 2.2 seconds over Neuville. “We are doing the best we can in these conditions,” he said. In the final stage of the day, SS15, he further solidified his lead with a 6.5-second advantage. “Tomorrow will be tougher than today, let’s hope for the best,” he commented.

Andreas Mikkelsen’s Determined Pursuit

Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen finished the day in second place, closely trailing Rovanperä. He was 1.1 seconds faster than Evans in the final morning stage, placing him second overall. “The pace is high, and we are doing our best,” Mikkelsen said.

He widened the gap to 5.2 seconds in SS14. “Kalle did well. We could have been faster in a few corners,” he noted. Mikkelsen completed the final stage of the day 4.2 seconds behind, remaining in second place overall. “Our position is good, but we aim to climb one more spot,” he added.

Elfyn Evans’ Resilient Effort

Toyota GAZOO Racing’s Elfyn Evans took the lead from Rovanperä in the final morning stage, beating him by 1.3 seconds. However, a puncture in SS14 dropped him to third place. “The tire just went without warning, which set us back a bit,” Evans explained. Despite this, he secured the second fastest time in the final stage, finishing the day in third overall. “We had some bad luck today, but we’re still in the race,” he said.

Adrien Fourmaux’s Steady Climb

M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux ended the third day in fourth place. In SS11, he was just 0.2 seconds behind Rovanperä. “It was a crazy fast stage, constantly turning,” he said.

In SS14, he lost 6.0 seconds to Neuville. “I don’t want to take risks, it’s a tough and fast stage,” Fourmaux commented. He finished the final stage strong, securing fourth place overall. “The tire choice wasn’t right, but it was a good day,” he concluded.

Mārtinš Sesks’ Impressive Debut

M-Sport Ford’s Mārtinš Sesks impressed in his first Rally1 event, finishing fifth overall. He maintained his position in SS11. “Everything in my head is like a rollercoaster, but we’re still learning,” he said.

He lost 6.3 seconds to Neuville in SS14. “Neuville is still fast, but we’re doing our best,” Sesks noted. He finished the day strong, staying ahead of Neuville. “I made many small mistakes, but overall it was good,” he added.

Thierry Neuville’s Silent Struggle

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was 9.1 seconds faster than Katsuta in SS11. “New stages, new pace notes; I don’t want to take unnecessary risks,” he said.

In SS14, he was 10.6 seconds faster than Katsuta. “There’s still a lot of cleaning, but I’ve kept a good rhythm,” Neuville commented. He made a slight error in the final stage, losing some time but securing sixth place overall. “The drive was good, but I made a mistake in one corner,” he concluded.

WRC2: Soylu’s Steady Performance

WRC2 driver Uğur Soylu demonstrated determination and speed throughout the day. “It was a long day, the stages were long and very fast! Perfect,” he said, completing the day without major issues and looking forward to the final day.

WRC2: Sami Pajari Leads

In the WRC2 category, Sami Pajari maintained his lead with a consistent performance. Oliver Solberg moved up to second, closely following Pajari, and overtook Virves to finish the day in second place. Miko Marczyk delighted local fans by securing third place.

WRC3: Dominguez and Matulka’s Battle

In the WRC3 category, Jakub Matulka kept his lead. Diego Dominguez closed the gap, finishing just 5.5 seconds behind Matulka. Other WRC3 drivers faced various mechanical issues and stage incidents throughout the day.

WRC Masters Cup: Kremer in the Lead, Sołowow Close Behind

In the WRC Masters Cup category, Armin Kremer maintained his lead, driving with his daughter. Michal Sołowow followed closely behind. Kremer managed to stay ahead despite some challenging moments on the stages. “We have about a 2-minute lead over the others, which should be enough,” Kremer said.

Michał Sołowow enjoyed the challenging and technical stages, saying, “It was a beautiful day, we enjoyed the incredible stages. Technical, quick, slow. It’s a really beautiful country.”

Ricardo Triviño had an intense day on the stages, exclaiming, “It’s amazing, it’s crazy. Fantastic rally. All the times, faster, faster, faster, FASTER!”

Ott Tänak’s Unfortunate Day

Hyundai’s Ott Tänak retired early in the first stage of the morning after hitting a deer. “Unfortunately, our new engine is severely damaged, we can’t continue,” he said, describing the unlucky incident.

Overall Standings (After SS15)

  1. Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota GAZOO Racing): 02:00:44.0
  2. Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai): +9.4 seconds
  3. Elfyn Evans (Toyota GAZOO Racing): +16.1 seconds
  4. Adrien Fourmaux (M-Sport Ford): +37.0 seconds
  5. Mārtinš Sesks (M-Sport Ford): +58.2 seconds
  6. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai): +58.3 seconds

The final day of Orlen 80th Rally Poland will begin tomorrow at 08:15 AM local time. Don’t miss the excitement!