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News and Quotes SS4

Straight after the opening stage of the morning, the WRC crews plunged into their second – the longest timed section of the day, the 23.81 km Zvotoky test. Rainfall on the heavily wooded lanes added to the intrigue, through which Kalle Rovanperä emerged to take his second stage win of the morning and the overall lead of the Central European Rally, enjoying the benefits of being first on the road with the cleanest line. Once again it was Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi who came second on the stage, despite his disadvantageous road position, revelling in conditions which have challenged the best in the business. In WRC2, points leader Andreas Mikkelsen had been dealt a boost to his hopes of retaining the title won in 2022 with Škoda when the Citroën of Yohan Rossel went out on the previous stage. However, Mikkelsen then crashed out on SS4, being pushed back onto the road by the passionate fans, but suffering severe damage and leaving Gus Greensmith as the only title contender to enjoy a trouble-free start to the day. Newly crowned British Rally Championship winner Adrien Fourmaux was also dealt a blow with a puncture to his Ford Fiesta on the first stage of the day but dominated the second, climbing back to second in class behind the Škoda of Sami Pajari.

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

"It was not so easy to get into the pace here. We got the info that this one would be even more wet, more water on the stage than on the first one but… I think I was a bit too careful in many places.”

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

"The conditions are really, really tricky. We got a lot of drizzle towards the end, the visibility’s bad and I lost the car a couple of times in the fast section where we need to work on the setup to get it more progressive. I can tell you it’s very challenging stages and at that speed, with all those surprises, it’s really tricky.”

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

"I’m trying but we are out of options and let’s say there are no tools to put the wet setup in this car so… undriveable for me. I can drive a bit faster and immediately have some moments so it’s not forgiving at all. Should be a long day.”

#4 Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN), Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid

“It’s fine, I mean for sure you need to be safe. Like everyone knows there’s a lot of mud coming from the cuts so you cannot commit like you would like to, but then when you know there is anti-cut (poles) you can do it. So it’s just balancing between these two approaches.”

#21 Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) / Torstein Eriksen (NOR), Škoda Fabia RS Rally2

“We just hit gravel, I didn’t expect the gravel in the corner there because there was something on the inside so, yeah, I just went too fast.”

#24 Adrien Fourmaux (FRA) / Alexandre Coria (FRA), Ford Fiesta MkII Rally2

“Well, I just tried to be really, really tidy in the stage, to just get the pace, to not have any drama or hot moments. When you have so many hot moments then you lose confidence and you don’t drive really clean. Actually, it seems to be working but I’ve seen a few mistakes in front.”


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