Thierry Neuville files the second stage of the Rally of Spain in the best possible way, winning the PS13 Salou by 2.15 kilometers and further increasing his advantage over the first and only rival for the success, Elfyn Evans.
The Belgian of Hyundai Motorsport completed the test in 2’23 “6, ahead of team mate Dani Sordo by 8 tenths of a second. What matters most to him is to have distanced another 2” 2 Evans, taking his advantage in the general classification at 16 “4.
We will see if tomorrow Neuville will just manage his margin and then push again in the Power Stage or if, instead, he will do everything to further increase the gap from Toyota Racing’s Welshman to avoid surprises of any kind.
Evans, on the other hand, did not find the right feeling with his Yaris either in the morning or in the afternoon. This allowed Neuville to take off gradually, but steadily. Tomorrow, however, the Welshman will be called to maintain his position and close the Power Stage ahead of Ogier to try to keep the talks open for the world title.
The fight for third place reopens unexpectedly and in extremis. Today’s afternoon lap had a big smile on Sébastien Ogier, who was able to increase his margin over his only rival, Dani Sordo. The Spaniard, however, thanks to the second time in PS13, managed to return and is now just 1 “2 behind the 7-time world champion.
Ogier, in the last stage, was slowed down for having stalled the engine of his Yaris, thus losing 6 “5 from Neuville and 5” 7 from Sordo. An unexpected event that cost him a lot and that still keeps alive a duel that seemed to be on the avenue of the sunset.
Kalle Rovanpera continues to gain experience, being now too far from those who precede him and with a great advantage over those who follow him. On the other hand, what happened in SS13 is very important as regards the sixth position in the general classification, with Gus Greensmith who overtook Oliver Solberg.
The Swede of the 2C Competition team reported a clutch failure that caused him to lose more than 30 seconds and sixth place overall. Tomorrow, however, the son of art will be able to try to make up for it considering the small gap from Greensmith, quantifiable as 7 tenths. Nil Solans closes the day in eighth place overall and with the nicest statement of the weekend so far: “After this weekend, after driving these cars, I think I won’t need to have sex for this year!” .
Eric Camilli continues to lead the WRC2 classification at the wheel of the Citroen C3 Rally2. The Frenchman has an advantage of 27 “1 over Teemu Suninen with the new Hyundai i20 N Rally2 and 52” 4 over Erik Cais, driver of the M-Sport team. Mads Ostberg, after yesterday’s puncture, is fourth at 1’48 “. Andreas Mikkelsen, although not racing this weekend, sees the world title getting closer and closer.
The second day of competition of the Rally of Spain ends here. It will resume tomorrow morning with Special Stage 14, the Santa Marina 1 of 9.10 kilometers. The first car, the Toyota Yaris of Takamoto Katsuta and Aaron Johnston, will enter testing at 7:00 Italian time.
Rally of Spain – General classification after the stage 13
|Pos.||Pilot / navigator||Car||Time / posting|
|1||Neuville / Wydaeghe||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||2.03’45 “7|
|2||Evans / Martin||Toyota Yaris WRC||+16 “4|
|3||Ogier / Ingrassia||Toyota Yaris WRC||+38 “7|
|4||Sordo / Carrera||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+39 “9|
|5||Rovanpera / Halttunen||Toyota Yaris WRC||+ 1’12 “3|
|6||Greensmith / Patterson||Ford Fiesta WRC||+ 3’45 “2|
|7||Solberg / Drew||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+ 3’45 “9|
|8||Solans / Martì||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+ 3’53 “8|
|9||Camilli / Vilmot||Citroen C3 Rally2||+ 7’52 “8|
|10||Gryazin / Aleksandrov||Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo||+ 8’02 “5|