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News and Quotes SS5

The Central European Rally’s second day began with a morning loop of three stages, ending with SS5, the 23.43 km Šumavské Hoštice test. Rally leader Kalle Rovanperä had built a strong lead from first on the road over the first two stages of the day and continued in the same vein, completing his domination of the loop. His nearest challenger for pace, Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi, went off at the 1.2 km point on the stage and ended his day after tearing the rear end off his car. This put Rovanperä’s team-mate and title challenger Elfyn Evans into second overall but half a minute adrift as he struggled to get comfortable in the conditions. Overnight leader Thierry Neuville dropped a further twelve seconds to the leader, blaming a setup error, as the crews had to contend with increasingly dirty road surfaces. In WRC2, points leader Andreas Mikkelsen effected a repair on his Škoda after crashing on SS4. He continued despite losing ten minutes on the previous stage but dropped more than 20 seconds in a compromised car. With only a tyre service before the three stages are repeated in the afternoon, the Norwegian’s day is all about surviving before the field returns to Passau overnight.

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

"I don’t think the push is big but I think the conditions is for sure good for the first car and the driving has been still good. It’s a tricky condition; this one was maybe the easiest condition of the loop. It’s not raining anymore. I was expecting a bit of delay on the start of stage and I was having the tyres really hot and now when we start at normal time I think I had a bit too hot tyres on the beginning of the stage. We’ll be maybe not so good time but let’s hope it’s okay. I also missed one junction – small mistake but okay.”

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

“A bit more tricky, a bit narrow. Again, I was kicking myself for being a bit too careful in some places but it’s pretty difficult with these conditions.”

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

"My stage wasn’t too bad so twelve seconds (lost to Rovanperä) is a lot. The road is getting dirty, so not much we can do. We kept the springs from shakedown, which were obviously are far too hard, and I have to carry on now all the day with that setup. It won’t get any better during the day.”

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

“It’s getting super muddy and I’m not having trust or confident to go there.”

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

“We like these conditions, we’re just struggling a little bit with throttle on the mud but I mean all in all we try just to get through. It’s so difficult. It’s a bit like the first (stage of the day) was the aperitif, the second, you know, the main course, then this one was the cherry on the cake!”

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

“We changed the rear toe arm but we also destroyed the dampers so we have no oil on the rear left so every compression it hits through. We have to be very careful and make the best of the situation. We just have to survive the day, it’s a shame it’s not service (only a tyre service at the mid-day halt) it’s the only thing we can do at the moment.”


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