Rally Estonia: Day 2
Four Toyota Yaris WRC drivers in the top six
The first full day of FIA World Rally Championship action after the 2020 season restart ended with Sébastien Ogier occupying a podium position and heading a quartet of Toyota Yaris WRC drivers in the top six on the Rally Estonia leaderboard.
The team’s drivers have been closely-matched for stage times on the high-speed gravel roads. Kalle Rovanperä began the day’s itinerary of 10 stages with the fastest time in the opening test to lead a round of the WRC for the first time – in what is only his fourth start at this level. Unfortunately he suffered a tyre issue on the following stage, costing him around half a minute.
As championship leader, Ogier ran first on the road during the morning loop but made good progress up the order, setting the fastest time on SS5. Due to the condensed format of the rally, the road order was reversed according to the standings during midday service, and Ogier was quickest again on SS7 as he climbed up into third overall.
Elfyn Evans also experienced tyre trouble in SS7 but was able to maintain his position. Rovanperä was set to end the day in fourth after taking another stage win in the day’s final test, but he received a one-minute time penalty as a result of removing radiator blanking in a control area rather than on the road section beforehand, meaning he is sixth overnight. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta is fifth after a strong day, impressing many with his consistent top-six stage times on his third start of the WRC season in a separately-run Toyota Yaris.
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)“The conditions today have been quite tough, and maybe a bit rougher than what we expected. The second time through the stages was really challenging with the ruts and quite a lot of rocks. In the technical low-speed sections we didn’t have so much performance, but we seem to be very good in the high-speed sections and tomorrow should be a faster day overall. The tyre issues that we saw today have been strange: We don't know at the moment what happened to cause it and we need to investigate it. I’m looking forward to seeing what all of our drivers can do tomorrow, including Takamoto who was extremely good today and seems to have really high confidence.”
Sébastien Ogier (Driver car 17)
“It was a good morning for me. It was fun to drive and the conditions were nice even though we were opening the road and I was quite close to the lead. Unfortunately, this afternoon the car didn’t feel so great, we made a bad call with the setup in the service. It worked in the first stage of the loop because it was a very fast one, but otherwise we were lacking grip this afternoon. I also ended SS7 with a damaged tyre and had no spares for the rest of the afternoon, so I couldn’t push too hard. In the final stage I was really losing the grip from the tyres and I stalled in a junction. But tomorrow is another day! I hope we can have a clean day and let’s see what we can do.”
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“The day started very well for us, everything was working well in the car. Later in the morning I made a few small errors and that cost me my rhythm a little bit. I think the conditions were also very slippery and then I was braking too early or braking too late and it’s very costly when you’re driving like that. In the afternoon, we were nearing the end of the first stage of the loop and the tyre let go. We only lost a few seconds but we had to do the rest of the loop with no spare wheel, so we were trying to balance good speed with not taking crazy risks. We have to keep on it tomorrow and hopefully we can have a good day.”
Kalle Rovanperä (Driver car 69)
“Today was really nice, aside from the tyre issue that we had. It was a surprise for us because we didn’t hit anything and I didn’t even feel it for a long time. If you lose a lot of time in this kind of rally it’s not easy to catch up so it was a difficult situation. But otherwise we had a nice pace and I was enjoying the driving. I’m quite happy that I could be on the pace all the time without taking any risks on these fast roads. You have to be really confident here and my confidence in the car is good. Tomorrow we will just continue in the same way and see how it goes.”
End of day two (Saturday):
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 1h15m08.4s
2 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +11.7s
3 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) +28.7s
4 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +36.8s
5 Takamoto Katsuta/Daniel Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m01.9s
6 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m34.9s
7 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m41.7s
8 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m50.9s
9 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2m15.2s
10 Gus Greensmith/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m03.1s
(Results as of 21:30 on Saturday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)
Sunday concludes the rally with 84.94 competitive kilometres across two loops of three stages. The third and final of these tests – Kambja – will run as the rally-ending Power Stage on its second pass with up to five bonus points on offer for the quickest times.
Press kit and Event pictures will be uploaded here
Follow TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT:
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/tgr_wrc/ (@TGR_WRC)