SS 17 - Stage Flash - Stavelot
The Renties Ypres Rally Belgium moved from Flanders to Wallonia for the final four stages and immediately there was drama.
The profile of the roads might be different but there is always something to catch the drivers out and this was the case in the 9.05km stage.
Kalle Rovenperä though mastered the course in the Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT entry to take the stage win with a time of 5:06.2.
He was ahead of the Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT driver Ott Tänak who was just 1.3 behind. Rally leader Thierry Neuville, and Elfyn Evans came quickly behind, with a gap of 1.4 and1.6 to the leader respectively.
Gus Greensmith was fifth for M-Sport Ford in his best stage of the rally to date.
There was a scare for Craig Breen as he touched a bank and disloged a little aero and lost 7.6 seconds.Pierre-Louis Loubet started under the restart rules and came in seventh.
Sébastien Ogier suffered a blow to his podium chances with a puncture but was able to limit the damage just to 8.2 second loss.
In WRC2, the overnight leader Oliver Solberg didn’t make it out of Parc Fermé and had to retire, leaving his Hyundai teammate, Jari Huttunen in the lead.Yohan Rossel took the lead in WRC3.
Stage results – SS17
- Rovenperä/Halttunen 5:06.2
- Tänak/Järveoja +1.3
- Neuville/Wydaeghe +1.4
- Evans/Martin +1.6
- Greensmith/Patterson +6.5
O/A after SS17
- Neuville/Wydaeghe 2:11:26.4
- Breen/Nagle +16.3
- Evans/Martin +42.6
- Rovenperä/Halttunen +44.3
- Ogier/Ingrassia +53.5
Car #10 P.L. Loubet – F.Haut-Labourdette (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) : “"It's an amazing place, so I am really happy to be able to continue today."
Car #44 G.Greensmith – C.Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC): "Pouhon's not flat in these WRC cars! It was a nice little stage to be fair, I enjoyed that one."
Car #8 O.Tänak – M.Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC): "It's about doing our job, and doing our job is driving."
Car #1 S.Ogier – J.Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC): LR puncture"A lot of time lost. There was a section which was much narrower in recce. They resurfaced it and made it wider, so it was hard to estimate. I went slightly wide."
Car #33 E.Evans – S.Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC): “I had a bit of a moment at the start and lost momentum. It was a bit tricky on the circuit and I couldn’t lean on the car. It was not easy.”
Car #69 K.Rovenperä – J.Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) : “It's still not too much. Let's see what we can do compared to Elfyn. I tried to drive well, it was quite a tricky stage, but I think it's quite okay.
Car #42 C.Breen – P.Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC): Minor off into a bank “I just got caught out. You have to be very careful.”
Car #11 T.Neuville – M.Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) : “The feeling is good. The car is working fine. I loved the bit on the circuit. The grip was quite high and it was fun to drive.”
Car #24 O.Solberg – A.Johnston (Hyundai i20 N Rally2): Retired before start of day.
Car #21 J.Huttunen – M.Lukka (Hyundai i20 N Rally2): “This afternoon was better than this morning without any punctures.”