Central European Rally Neuville Wins His Second Of The Year

November 3, 2023Joe Moore

The Central European Rally has come to an end. Thierry Neuville claimed his second win of the season. 

Day One 

The first day of the Central European Rally saw drivers compete in two SuperSpecial stages. Thierry Neuville ended the day with a 1.2-second lead over Ott Tänak. Tänak won SSS1, whilst Neuville won SSS2. Sebastien Ogier sat third at the end of the day, 5.8 seconds behind Neuville. 

Day Two

The second day of the event was dominated by Kalle Rovanperä. With the championship hopeful winning 4 out of the day’s 6 stages to take a 36.4-second lead over Thierry Neuville to end the day. Rovanperä’s championship rival Elfyn Evans sat third to end the day, 47.2 seconds behind Rovanperä. Rovanperä did everything he needed to on the second day to put pressure on Evans. 

Day Three 

Thierry Neuville regained the rally lead, winning two of the day’s 6 stages. Sebastien Ogier also won two stages on the day. The big story heading out of the penultimate day wasn’t anything to do with Neuville or Ogier however. As on SS11 Elfyn Evans championship hopes came crashing down. As Evans overshot a corner and crashed into a barn that was stageside. Breaking his rear suspension and ending his championship hopes. This allowed Kalle Rovanperä to slow down. Rovanperä ended the day in second, 26.2 seconds behind Neuville. Ott Tänak rounded out the top three to end the day, nearly two minutes behind Neuville. 

Day Four

Thierry Neuville maintained the lead over the fourth and final day of the Central European Rally. With only 4 stages this wasn’t very hard. Nevertheless, he still did it despite not taking a stage win. Instead, Elfyn Evans and Sebastien Ogier both took two stage wins on the day. With Evans winning the Powerstage. It was all for nothing for Evans however as Kalle Rovanperä held on to second place to secure his second championship. Ott Tänak ended the event third. 

Drivers Championship Rundown After The Central European Rally

Kalle Rovanperä will head into the final event of the season with a 44-point lead over Elfyn Evans. Meaning he has clinched the championship as only 30 points are on the table in Japan. Switching the attention to who will finish second in the championship. As Neuville winning the Central European Rally closed the gap between him and Evans to just 7 points. Ott Tänak also has a chance to move into the championship top three. As the Estonian sits 22 points behind Neuville and 29 behind Evans. Sebastien Ogier rounds out the top five in the championship. 

Another Unfortunate Ending For Lappi

Esapekka Lappi yet again retired from an event before the end of the second day. This time however he made it 4 stages past what he did in Chile. Lappi retired after going wide on a corner in SS5 and hitting a tree. Ending his weekend in the process.