Rally Estonia Lappi And Evans Tie After SS1

July 20, 2023Joe Moore

The first day of Rally Estonia has come to an end. Esapekka Lappi and Elfyn Evans would sit tied for first at the end of the day.


Kalle Rovanperä would finish with the fastest time on the shakedown stage. Finishing 1.2 seconds faster than Thierry Neuville who set the second fastest time. Esapekka Lappi finished with the third fastest time on shakedown, 0.5 seconds slower than his Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville. Takamoto Katsuta set the fourth fastest time on shakedown, 0.3 seconds slower than Lappi. Elfyn Evans would round out the five on shakedown, finishing 0.1 seconds slower than Katsuta.


Ott Tänak is seen driving on SSS1 of Rally Estonia
Ott Tänak (EST) Martin Järveoja (EST) Of team M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAMis seen performing during the World Rally Championship Estonia in Tartu, Estonia on 20,July 2023 // Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Ott Tänak would take home the first stage win of the 2023 Rally Estonia. Tänak would set a time 0.6 seconds faster than Esapekka Lappi and Elfyn Evans.2021 and 2022 winner Kalle Rovanperä would set the third fastest time on the opening stage, 0.1 seconds slower than Lappi and Evans. Thierry Neuville finished with the fourth fastest time on the stage, 0.9 seconds slower than Rovanperä. Takamoto Katsuta would round out the top five on the stage, 1.6 seconds slower than Neuville. 

Are You Confused?

You may be wondering why Esapekka Lappi and Elfyn Evans are tied for the rally lead when Ott Tänak would take the stage win. The answer is simple. Ott Tänak would receive a 5-minute penalty for having his engine replaced during the event. Tänak would experience an engine issue during the first running of the shakedown stage. Tänak would subsequently head back to the service park after the first running. The M-Sport team would opt to replace Tänak’s engine. Thus handing the Estonian a 5-minute penalty and costing him his chance at winning his home event. The penalty has caused a bit of dissatisfaction from some drivers and fans. With Kalle Rovanperä stating his displeasure with the penalty. Although the penalty allows Rovanperä to have a bit of an easier weekend, he was looking forward to the expected battle between himself and Tänak.