Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia made history this afternoon by successful the first Rally Croatia to depend for the FIA World Rally Championship.
In a dramatic occupy to the Wolf Vitality Stage, the Toyota duo beat their team-mates Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin by 0.6s with Hyundai-powered Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe fair 8.1s within the abet of the winners after three days of spectacular circulation on magnificent nation-disclose roads shut to the Croatian capital Zagreb.
In spite of nursing damage to the comely facet of their Yaris WRC following a aspect road web page online traffic accident on the liaison fragment heading to SS17, in a single day leaders Ogier/Ingrassia remained in competitors for victory starting up the Wolf Vitality Stage, which they started 3.9s within the abet of Evans/Martin.
Although the French pair made a minor error, they went quickest thru the flee to lay down the gauntlet for Evans/Martin. The Britons gave the affect to grasp carried out barely adequate until they slid huge on a comely-hander shut by of the charge to the occupy. Starved of a must-grasp traction as they mounted an earth bank, the seconds misplaced supposed they carried out the stage 4.5s slower than Ogier/Ingrassia to lose the rally by 0.6s.
“It looks admire it in level of reality went shut to the final metres,” said Ogier, who moves to the highest of the WRC standings by eight good points. “Per chance the final mistake from Elfyn hand us the steal but over the weekend the total team has carried out an suited job. For certain, the emotion for us now might perhaps maybe perhaps be gargantuan-rep. It’s been a loopy rollercoaster for us this weekend between the puncture and the matter this morning clearly. I became overjoyed to aloof be within the speed in level of reality. Now, fair to steal this is, I bet, why we occupy this sport: for this emotion. I said ‘sorry’ to Elfyn attributable to he’s carried out an suited job as smartly. He became very shut to realize the the same this weekend. Nonetheless I’m very contented for the total team; Toyota and the car had been suited this weekend. That’s for you guys: moderately just a few good points. Congrats to all of you.”
Evans said: “That final nook, I fair got onto the unfastened and completely neglected the following nook so for certain, it wasn’t all misplaced there. Nonetheless I order one 2d became long gone. That’s a disgrace but it indubitably became a huge fight all weekend and hats off to Seb for that final stage. Next time.”
After completing the Croatia Rally podium in third following his fightback thru Saturday afternoon, Neuville said: “I pushed very exhausting but I overshoot a junction within the stage so I misplaced with out misfortune three seconds. Nonetheless we’ve tried, we’ve tried our ideal. I became completely on the limit of the car the total time, trying to abilities, which we clearly did. Martijn did a comely job, it wasn’t easy for the co-drivers. Nonetheless we are contented to be right here.”
Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja carried out fourth for Hyundai, one disclose earlier than Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.
It became a excellent consequence for Frenchman Fourmaux, who became competing in a World Rally Car within the WRC for the first time in ideal his fourth season of rallying. “I’m in level of reality, in level of reality contented about our weekend, only somewhat disenchanted for one thing that the rally is carried out now,” said Fourmaux. “It became fair agreeable, I’m able to ideal order thanks M-Sport and Red Bull for the total opportunity and furthermore the FFSA. They aloof factor in in me after four years. It became an suited weekend for us. I mediate we had an suited scamper in some stages… What a weekend. I don’t know [when we will be back in the car]. You grasp to inquire of M-Sport for that.”
Takamoto Katsuta/Daniel Barritt, who won two stages on Saturday, took sixth disclose for the third spherical of the WRC working adopted by Gus Greensmith/Chris Patterson, who had been slowed by a hydraulic system subject and a brake subject at some stage within the morning runs.
Craig Breen/Paul Nagle, who carried out eighth, made up for a anxious tournament by going 2d quickest on the Wolf Vitality Stage. “The day earlier than recently morning became this type of disappointment, 100 metres into the day and already it became sport over,” said Breen. “It became tough to if truth be told trudge at 150 per cent on these tough stages but, okay, I loved it and I learned loads. Optimistically we’ve moderately just a few meals for idea. Optimistically it might perhaps maybe perhaps no longer be too long [that I am back in a World Rally Car].”
Østberg/Eriksen launch up WRC2 title defence with victory
Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen overcame brake considerations in their Citroën C3 Rally2 to claim the FIA WRC2 steal earlier than Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula in ninth overall. Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov had been within the rostrum fight but crashed into retirement on SS19.
“It became one in all the worst days I’ve had in a rally car,” said Østberg. “To attain a day admire recently with out a brakes. I’m able to’t factor in I’m on the end. So repeatedly I couldn’t quit the car and I fair had to roll and be in level of reality cautious. I put no longer need any plan why we’ve this subject, but we ignore that now. We grasp now won the first rally this yr and for certain we are very contented with that.”
Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jon Armstrong took FIA WRC3 and Junior WRC honours respectively.
2021 Rally Croatia – Unofficial Outcomes