In the hot tough conditions of the Mediterranean the big winners of round 10 were the event’s organisers. There was plenty of scepticism and worries going into this returning event however the thrilling action and smooth event has won many over.
Out on the stages however the lottery conditions makes rating driver’s performances difficult, but never the less here we go.
Tanak has proved his speed finely in recent events however Turkey proved he has learnt a lot over the years, putting in a very sensible drive. Struggled on Friday even stalling the car in a hairpin however 3 fastest stage times and mature driving brings him fully in contention for the championship.
16 seconds ahead of his teammate after day 1, Jari would gradually lose out throughout Saturday to finish the day behind Ott. However with a hydraulic problem contributing towards the time loss Latvala looked good for a rally winning battle. But helping the team out he was satisfied with second and it was great to see a smile back on the charismatic Finn.
Struggled with set-up throughout the event and it showed in the times. Crashing out on Saturday had little effect in any championships for the Toyota team however learning the stages would have been useful for future years.
Admitted to Friday’s stages being the roughest he’s been in. Drove sensibly all weekend avoiding all major problems and benefitting hugely from other’s misfortune. Performances like these can only strengthen Hayden’s position for a 2019 seat.
One of the few to push hard over the weekend and not need Rally 2 to finish the event. Leading at various stages throughout Friday and Saturday Andreas would suffer with a differential problem, finishing 5th would still ensure vital manufacturer points but much more was available for the Norwegian.
As daft as it seems it looked to be a perfect weekend from Thierry’s driving point of view. Leading despite road sweeping at the end of day 1 and a staggering time in the power stage Thierry was on fire. Devastatingly broken suspension despite claiming he hit nothing would ruin his weekend losing a large chunk of his championship lead.
Teemu would only collect 4 top 5 times on his way to a fantastic 4th Overall. However he showed sensibility despite his inexperience even referring to the event as homework for next year. He is consistently impressing this year and it will be exciting watching his development which ever car he is in next year.
An absolute rollercoaster of a weekend for Ogier. His efforts to repair his Fiesta and then set a fastest stage time were unbelievable, to then crash at such a crucial point in the season still has me in awe. Unable to match Thierry’s speed in the power stage, is Sebastien Ogier the least likely of the 3 contenders to win the championship? I think so.
Team player of the event. Elfyn had a nightmare Friday with problems in both morning and afternoon with the latter forcing him into Rally 2. From that point Elfyn helped the team in any way possible with the images of him repairing his car in service a firm favourite of mine. He even showed good pace Saturday and Sunday to help his chances of a seat next year.
The times on Friday morning showed potential for a great event for Mads, the disastrous mechanical problem that followed were painful to watch. Wales Rally GB has been a good event in the past and he will be eager to get in the fight amongst the championship contenders.
The Craig Breen rollercoaster was short and heart-breaking. Leading the event Friday morning the punctures, smoke filled car and fire that followed were crushing to watch. Thankfully there were no injuries allowing the pair to fight another day.