0.7 seconds! Not a lot can be achieved in such a short amount of time, yet after 314 km’s of intense driving 0.7 seconds propels Neuville’s championship hopes another 8 points ahead of Sebastien Ogier. Whether this event helps clinch Thierry a debut WRC title is still far from decided but, there is no doubt this event will be remembered by the rally community for years to come.
However battles occurred throughout the field and not all will reflect on this challenging event as fondly so as I attempt to review the driver’s performances UK & Ireland fans may wish to turn away.
It’s difficult to give him a perfect score when he spent most the event chasing the lead but the championship leader was on impeccable form in the dry he can only hope the Hyundai performs better than past form in Finland to continue this form
Taking full advantage of the opportunity Fridays weather delivered Andreas looked to be in perfect tune with his Hyundai but a gearbox problem left the luckless Norwegian chasing only power stage points
Nearly 3 minutes behind the rally winner is not where the Kiwi would have liked to have been however, 4th position and a good manufacturer points haul will have pleased Hyundai bosses
Friday rains helped demonstrate the champ’s incredible talent but a single poor stage and a slight lack of speed on the dry gravel stages meant a point loss for the championship chaser
Hard to review the weekends sweeper once the roads turned dry but a small mistake on the first proper test made this a character building event for a demotivated welshman
Fine form in Friday morning rain Sunninen could have challenged for a back to back podium but a small mistake will make him even more motivated for home round Finland
Stuck in a difficult position Ott needed to push this weekend however underestimation of a jump and a potentially weak Toyota has in my eyes knocked Tanak out of the championship battle
The most experienced driver on the event had a new approach and for somebody going “back to basics” the result was looking strong, a mechanical failure from a podium position must surely put pressure on the Toyota teamonwhat appears to be the championships quickest car
On the podium for only a second time its easy to forget Lappi is still only in his second full WRC season but his results have more than rewarded Makkinen’s trust in the future title challenger
Pressure was on for Citroen to take good points from the championships halfway point however an uninspiring drive from the Irishman will have done little to boost morale
Challenging with Hayden Paddon and leaping high over Micky’s jump Ostberg provided thrills as always for following fans but an increase in pace is needed for Mads to become a key part of Citroen’s future