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WRC - Evans holds commanding lead into Rally Sweden finale

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Rally Sweden - Saturday

2020 WRC - Rally Sweden - Elfyn Evans (photo DPPI)

At the end of the second day of an abbreviated Rally Sweden, Elfyn Evans continues to lead the way in his Toyota after winning three of the four stages that were run today, despite a big moment on the penultimate stage. The action ended with a run over the Torsby sprint stage, close to the Service Park, in an exact repeat of yesterday’s itinerary.

Evans has consolidated his advantage over Hyundai’s Ott Tänak, who is determined to learn more about the car and finish the rally safely, having crashed out of the opening round in Monte-Carlo.
While the top two places were firmly established throughout the day, the battle for third between Toyota team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä was much closer. The Finnish youngster started the day in front, but was overhauled by his experienced French team-mate, on a mission to push hard despite the marginal conditions.

Once more temperatures were above freezing, with the normally snowy roads turning into gravel. These conditions made it very hard to retain the studs in the tyres - one of the reasons why several drivers were reporting inconsistent grip.

Esapekka Lappi enjoyed another strong day in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta to end the Saturday in fifth, still within touching distance of the battle ahead of him.

But he also had to look closely behind him, as the Hyundai of Thierry Neuville was on a charge too, 10 seconds ahead of the similar car of Craig Breen, making his 2020 debut in the i20 WRC.

Further back, Teemu Suninen’s Fiesta and Takamoto Katsuta’s Yaris rounded out the World Rally Car runners, in eighth and ninth respectively, while Jari Huttunen’s Hyundai led the FIA WRC3 class for privately-entered Rally2 cars in 10th overall. The FIA WRC 2 provisional leader (for factory-entered Rally2 cars) is local man Mads Østberg in a Citroën. Another local man, Tom Kristensson, heads the FIA Junior WRC standings with a comfortable advantage of over 40 seconds over second placed Martins Sesks with one special stage to go.

Following a communication issued by the event organisers earlier today, tomorrow’s action will consist of the Power Stage only, starting at 12.18 CET. With this latest modification to the weather-affected itinerary, Rally Sweden will now cover 148.55 competitive kilometres in total before tomorrow afternoon’s finish back in Torsby.


2020 Rally Sweden - Unofficial Results after Section 2:

1. Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 00min 38.9sec
2. Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC1hr 00min 56.1sec
3. Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Julien Ingrassia (FRA)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 01min 07.7sec
4. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN) / Jonne Halttunen (FIN)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 01min 08.2sec
5. Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN)Ford Fiesta WRC1hr 01min 13.6sec
6. Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC1hr 01min 18.1sec
7. Craig Breen (IRL) / Paul Nagle (IRL)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC1hr 01min 28.6sec
8. Teemu Suninen (FIN) / Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN)Ford Fiesta WRC1hr 01min 53.7sec
9. Takamoto Katsuta (JAP) / Daniel Barritt (GBR)Toyota Yaris WRC1hr 02min 16.3sec
10. Jari Huttunen (FIN) / Mikko Lukka (FIN) - FIA WRC 3Hyundai NG i201hr 04min 18.0sec