Elfyn Evans Takes Dominant Secto Rally Finland Win
Secto Rally Finland has come to an end. Elfyn Evans held on to take a dominant win at the event.
Reigning Champion Kalle Rovanperä did not take home any points at Secto Rally Finland due to him crashing out. Meaning Elfyn Evans was able to close the gap between him and Rovanperä to 25 points from 55. Evans subsequently expanded the gap between him and Thierry Neuville to 11 points from 3. Ott Tänak remains fourth, now 30 points behind Neuville. Sebastien Ogier who hasn’t driven since Kenya remains fifth. The championship at this point is a three-horse race, as it realistically can be won by Neuville, Evans or Rovanperä. Mathematically every WRC1 driver and Oliver Solberg (WRC2) can still win the championship.
The first day of Secto Rally Finland saw drivers race a single 3.48km stage. 2022 winner Ott Tänak won the stage. Taking a 0.6-second lead over Thierry Neuville into the second day.
The second day of the event and the first full day of competition saw drivers compete 104.76km across 9 stages. Elfyn Evans came out on top after the day. Leading Thierry Neuville by 6.9 seconds. Kalle Rovanperä led the event for part of the day, until rolling on SS8 and retiring. Ott Tänak and Pierrr-Louis Loubet retired on SS3. Tänak retired due to his engine being destroyed. While Loubet crashed out and would return on day three. 2017 winner Esapekka Lappi also crashed out and retired from the event.
The third day saw drivers compete 160.68km across 8 stages. Elfyn Evans took all but one stage win on the day. Expanding his lead over Neuville to 32.1 seconds. Day three saw no major action in WRC1. Which was a bit of a surprise after the second day eliminated half the field. Teemu Suninen and Takamoto Katsuta battled for third. A battle that ended with Katsuta 6.4 seconds ahead of Suninen at the end of the day.
The fourth and final day of Secto Rally Finland saw drivers compete 51.64km across the final 4 stages. Elfyn Evans once again won all but one stage on the final day of the event. All on the way to winning the event with a 39.1-second lead over Neuville. Evans also took the Powerstage win to take home the maximum 30 points on his second event win of the season.
Elfyn Evans won 10 of the 22 stages of Secto Rally Finland. A number that is double the amount Kalle Rovanperä won. Evans was only challenged by Thierry Neuville at the end of the second day. But from the third day on Evans was untouchable. Only being beaten on two stages by Takamoto Katsuta who had an incredible event.