Date: Sunday, March 19th
Day: 4 Flash N°: 21
Special stage: Otates Distance: 35.63 km
Weather: Warm and sunny, 17°C
Road conditions: Dry and dusty
ADVANTAGE EVANS IN THE BATTLE FOR SECOND; FOURMAUX STOPPED IN WRC2
The main focus of the final morning was the daunting 35.63km of Otates – the longest stage of the entire event.
Pierre-Louis Loubet finished the stage with a slow front-left puncture and Ott Tänak complained about front damper damage. Thierry Neuville carded the target of 24min 39.4sec in the battle for second place but he was beaten by Evans by just 1.7 seconds and the Welshman, who set his first fastest time of the weekend, headed to the penultimate stage 5.8 seconds ahead of the Belgian. Sébastien Ogier came home in third and leads the rally by 23.2 seconds.
While Gus Greensmith continued to lead WRC2 by 34.6 seconds, his main rival Adrien Foumaux stopped in the stage after 26km and gifted second place to Emil Lindholm. The Frenchman’s demise lifted Tänak into 10th overall and a point-scoring position. Oliver Solberg delivered a stunning stage run and moved to within 15.1 seconds of Lindholm. The flying Swede beat the defending champion by 26.6 seconds.
Car 8. TÄNAK/JÄRVEOJA
“Far from that (being better). We have the front damper damage. We drive it through. Hopefully the
finish is coming soon.”
Car 69. ROVANPERÄ/HALTTUNEN
“The beginning is quite fine from what we know from yesterday but the last part was really slippery and
much more than I was expecting.”
Car 11. NEUVILLE/WYDAEGHE
“I had a good stage to be honest. Couple of dogs I had to slow down and it was a second each time.
The grip was really low.”
Car 33. EVANS/MARTIN
“It’s hard work and it was very slippery and it’s really hard to judge.”
Car 17. OGIER/LANDAIS
“Very slippery at the end. All good for us, we tried to control and it was a zero risk drive.”
Car 18. KATSUTA/JOHNSTON
“It’s like a different world. We have done two parts in the beginning and it was okay grip and then it was
like being on Mars, another planet, so slippery.”
Car 7. LOUBET/GILSOUL
Front-left slow puncture. “In a very narrow part in a compression in a slow corner I had a puncture
immediately. It is not going our way but I will just drive to finish now.”
Car 9. SERDERIDIS/MICLOTTE
“Very good for the weight. Excellent. The first part was really nice and also it is clean. I enjoy a lot. The
second part is so slippery, the difference is ten times but we manage it.”
Car 22. FOURMAUX/CORIA
Stopped in the stage after 26km.