Top performers – Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja
Second consecutive rebound, modern Ott Tanak and Partner driver Martin Jarveoja deserves the Best of Show award after a particularly challenging rally in Ypres, Belgium, with his third victory of 2022.
The best drivers, as championship leader Kalle Rovanpera and 2021 champion Thierry Neuville were knocked out of the race to prove it. While Tanak may have inherited the rally lead, he has sometimes shown great speed on surfaces that may not have been his favorite, and has shown the tenacity to avoid the Ypres trap.
Tanak managed to keep in touch with teammate Neuville on Saturday, despite a gearbox issue causing an inconsistent four-wheel drive system on the 2019 World Champion’s i20 N, Again this proved to be a difficult car to drive. The Estonian also managed to fend off a late charge from Toyota’s Elfin Evans to beat the Welshman by five seconds.
It was Tanak’s second consecutive win, following his stellar victory in Finland and his third since June in Sardinia. three seasons. Once again, the win caught Tanak by surprise, suggesting the success owed more to him than Hyundai’s progress on the i20 N.
When asked if he could imagine a win before the weekend, he said: “No, not really, because our pre-match tests are not It’s fine, so we didn’t have a lot of confidence before the rally. But during the rally, we were able to pull it together.
“There’s a lot going on around us. Things that happen with other people, we stay together. You know, it’s not pure acting, it’s a pretty tough job. “
While the title may seem out of reach now, it’s worth noting that if the season has already started in Sardinia, Rovanpera has a 3-point lead over Tanak .The old Tanak seems to be back and showing his best.
Tanak won his second rally in the trot, his third of the year, cementing the second-place standings
Photo by McKlein / Motorsport Images
Honorable Mention: Oliver Solberg, Katsuta Takamoto, Chris Ingram, Joss Verstappen
Oliver Solberg’s previous WRC outing in Finland ended with the Swede in Stage 2 Rolling his i20 N in the first corner ended, his rally was over before it had time
The accident made this The 20-year-old was in tears as a tough rookie season took a toll on the spirits. To recover from it and finish fourth with a perfect kickoff, a career-best WRC finish, which is exactly what The turnaround that Solberg needed. He drove smart where others erred and brought back quite a few points and a morale boosting result.
Takamoto Katsuta’s 2021 Ypres Rally ended in a huge accident that forced officials to throw a red flag. On his return to the treacherous tarmac, the Japanese driver was impressive to finish fifth Name. If his Toyota GR Yaris had avoided the gearbox issue that cost him a few minutes on Friday morning, he could have done much higher. But, after the Rovanpera crash, Katsuta is now the only one who has been hit every round. Rally1 driver who finished in the standings.
Elsewhere, ex-Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen scolded him The WRC debut was the fifth rally of his career. The 50-year-old raced in 106 F1 races between 1994 and 2003, finishing 25th overall and rising from a record 11 times in Ypres Champion Freddy Loix led the Masters class before heading off the track on stage 13. The Dutchman finished the rally in 60th overall and won for his performance praised by the WRC team boss.
WRC2 driver Chris Ingram also completed a noteworthy rally after the race. Ninth overall, equals the Briton’s best ever WRC result.
Verstappen impresses in his Rally2 Citroen C3 and continues to finish in the overall classification despite a fall on Saturday’s road No. 60
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Team of the Week: Toyota Gazoo Racing
All three WRC Rally1 teams have had issues in rallying, including reliability issues or driver error.
Hyundai made it clear that, in the right hands, its i20 N clearly has the pace to worry Toyota, but Ott Tanak once again had to overcome transmission issues to get win the game.
M-Sport Ford’s rally disintegrates after a series of costly driver errors, while Toyota suffers a mechanical failure from Katsuta Takamoto.
However, there was an inspiring teamwork that earned Toyota the Team of the Week award. Following Rovanpera’s surprise exit, the Japanese team faced the difficult task of repairing the GR Yaris to bring its championship leaders back on Saturday due to a huge accident in Stage 2.
By regulation, the team had four hours to fix the car, but somehow dragged it until late Friday night. The chassis, fuel tank and engine were the only unaffected areas of the car. Rovanpera went on to win Saturday morning’s first stage and then went on to save five points after winning the rally. Get three cars into the top five. Evans finished third ahead of Esapekka Lappi and Katsuta finished fifth.
Local hero Thierry Nou Thierry Neuville was on the field, and when drama unfolded in the penultimate period on Saturday, he was looking forward to a second WRC victory at home to the home crowd.
The Hyundai driver had built up a 17.2sec lead over Tanak but was caught by a slow and dusty southpaw, causing him to understeer into Ypres famous one of the ditches. The spectator managed to pull the car out, but damage to the front right corner forced Neuville to retire in pain.
M-Sport’s Craig Breen is back in the happy hunt with victories and second-place finishes at the last two rallies. The Irishman suffered a terrible rollover on stage 10 while maintaining fifth. Fortunately, Breen and co-pilot Paul Nagle escaped unscathed. The duo had been leading the stage before making a costly mistake.
M-Sport’s disappointing weekend was compounded by a frantic crash by Adrien Fourmaux on the penultimate stage of the rally. The Frenchman Sitting in a comfortable fifth, he was poised to give Britain a glimmer of hope after a difficult rally when he ran into the ditch and nearly flipped his Ford Puma. This marks Fourmaux’s fifth retirement this season.
Championship leaders Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen were fortunate in Survived a serious crash on Stage 2. The pair was hampered by a timing error at the start, much to the excitement of both the driver and co-pilot.
While Rovanpera said the issue didn’t affect his focus, the poised Finn made his first attempt in his perfect title run to date. A costly mistake when he ran into a ditch and his GR Yaris ejected into a series of barrel rolls.
Kalle Rovanpera, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 after crash
photo : McKlein / Motorsport Images
WRC drivers pay tribute to those killed in World War I at the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial before the rally. It produced one of the most powerful images at the event.
Ypres also offers what is arguably the most picturesque service park of the season.
Drone cameras once again highlight the challenges WRC drivers face on tight tarmac.
Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1
Photo by M-Sport
Kalle Rovanpera, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
Photography: Toyota Racing
Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai i20 N Rally1
Photo by Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motor Sports
Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
Photo by Toyota Racing
Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1
Image source: Red Bull Content Pool