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News and Quotes SS15

The final day of the inaugural Central European Rally dawned with the short journey from Passau in Germany to the 17.25 km Böhmerwald stage in Austria, opening a two-stage, two-nation loop that would be repeated after a service halt. Clear skies and dry asphalt greeted the field for the first time since leaving the Czech capital of Prague on Thursday at the start of this unique tri-nation event. This meant a mix of soft and hard dry tyres and more aggressive suspension setups were the order of the day. Toyota’s British star Elfyn Evans was the first man on the road, restarting after he crashed out of third place on the road at the end of the Saturday morning loop. Following the incident, the Welshman needs to maximise his power stage bonus points score and hope that his teammate and championship leader Kalle Rovanperä drops down from his current second place on the rally if his hopes of the title are to remain intact. The battle between Teemu Suninen’s Hyundai and Takamoto Katsuta’s Toyota for fifth place is the closest in the field, but Rovanperä closed the gap to rally leader Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai on Saturday’s final stage and prefers to drive close to the limit in order to maintain his rhythm, making for an intriguing day ahead. Meanwhile the longtime WRC2 category leader Emil Lindholm was forced to retire on the road section leading to the first stage.

#33 Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid

“It’s pretty dry and clean in there overall. Some slippy sections under the trees where it’s a bit damp but overall pretty good conditions. Just trying to be smooth.”

#13 Grégoire Munster (LUX) / Louis Louka (BEL), Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid

“For sure it’s much easier than the previous days but the soft tyre is overheating a bit. We need to manage and see. Good learning.”

#3 Teemu Suninen (FIN) / Mikko Markkula (FIN), Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid

”Target is to always do my job and improve my driving. I do my best and see where we end up.”

#8 Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST), Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid

“Quite high grip. Still some dirt but a lot less than we’ve seen previously. Let’s see. Step-by-step.”

#69 Kalle Rovanperä (FIN) / Jonne Halttonen (FIN), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid

“The feeling was good. We are just enjoying it now. The weather is also better. It’s a bit nicer when it’s not so dirty all the time. Nothing crazy”

#11 Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL), Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid

“Everything going to plan. Clean run through the stage, no risks, and off to the next one. We have a regroup, we’ll talk to the gravel crew, but I felt already that the soft is getting to the limit now.”


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