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News and Quotes SS8

Day 2 of the Central European Rally ended with a second pass through the 23.43 km Šumavské Hoštice test. Rally leader Kalle Rovanperä wrapped up a day of almost complete domination in first on the road for Toyota. His time almost half a minute slower than his pass in the morning but even so it was sufficient to extend his lead over his team-mate and title rival Elfyn Evans. Evans struggled and dropped to third on the overall event leader board after Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville launched a charge to claim the stage win. The M-Sport Fords suffered as Ott Tänak lost 20 seconds to steering problems and Pierre-Louis Loubet suffered a puncture, dropping him further back from the four-way battle for fifth place between the Toyotas of Takamoto Katsuta and Sébastien Ogier Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen and the third Ford of Gregoire Munster. Ogier edged Suninen for sixth on the final stage, closing the gap to Katsuta, while Munster dropped time to Suninen at the back of the pack.


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

"It has been super tricky day. Luckily the weather was once in our side. On the starting position it was good to be first car. This one I struggled to get the feeling. I don’t know why. It started to rain and I tried to be fast but it didn’t feel so good.”


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

"I didn’t do anything different to the stage before and I’m constantly on the limit on the grip of the car. We just went this morning with the too stiff setup. We have seen that the organisers did a good job in putting the anti-cut (poles) in place and we didn’t expect the roads to be that dirty to be honest. We just went too aggressive on the setup and we had to stick with that all day long and that’s why we lost a lot of time today.”


#18 Takamoto Katsuta (JPN) / Aaron Johnston (IRL), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid

“The difficult thing is the conditions are changing a lot - after the gravel crews (have been through). Before there was no rain but when we get there it started to rain so it was not easy to judge the conditions on the corners.”


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

“Not the best (performance) but learning step-by-step. It’s been a really super tricky day. Lots of mud and hard to read the grip level but hopefully we can do good progress tomorrow.”


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

“It’ been really tricky, a lot of mud but nice stages and we enjoyed our first day (in Rally1). Still tricky to find where the limit is in such cars. We lost a bit of time in there – I think Loubet is going to follow behind but he must have had a problem at the start.”


#7 Pierre-Louis Loubet (FRA) / Benjamin Veillas (FRA), Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid

“On the first braking the front completely locked. I was not thinking it was so slippery and I go straight and I hit the side and so I have to reverse. When I wanted to change the wheel all the mud was on the tools so I was not able to change immediately and I lose a lot of time.”

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