Monte-Carlo: Immense fright for Tänak, Evans at the head

    Aurélie SACCHELLI, published on Friday January 24, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    The WRC world champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai) violently went off the road this Friday during the 4th special of the Monte-Carlo rally, making several barrels. But he emerged unscathed! Elfyn Evans is the leader.

    SS7: Ogier nibbles
    Another victory for Toyota! Sébastien Ogier confirmed his good disposition for the afternoon by winning SS7, six tenths ahead of Elfyn Evans and three seconds over Thierry Neuville. The French driver was however not ultra-satisfied at the finish: “I did not make the best choice of tires and I had to be careful. The car was moving a lot. ” The Briton having more than limited the damage, he is still leading the rally before the last special of the day, three seconds ahead of Ogier and ten over Neuville. What suspense!

    SS6: Ogier shows up
    The Toyota cars seem really comfortable this Friday, and after Elfyn Evans, it’s Sébastien Ogier’s turn to offer a special. The Gapençais, who opted for one more super-soft tire than his opponents, edged Thierry Neuville by five seconds and Evans by six seconds. The Briton arrived with the right front wheel slightly damaged, but more fear than harm. He is now only three seconds ahead of the French driver.

    SS5: Evans confirms
    What a great morning for Elfyn Evans, who won his third special in a row, dominating Sébastien Ogier and five and a half Thierry Neuville by four seconds, in a light rain. “I’m still learning about this car and I still need to find out where the line is,” admitted the Frenchman at the finish. Evans is now nine seconds ahead of Neuville and ten seconds ahead of Ogier before the afternoon specials, which are announced to be more slippery due to the dust.

    SS4: Tänak is very scared and gives up, Evans takes control
    What a huge fright for Ott Tänak! The world champion is forced to retire following a violent exit from the road at more than 180km / h after 9.2km of special. Having left in a barrel, the Estonian and his co-pilot Martin Järveoja fell into a ravine below. But they managed to get out of their car alone and were taken to the hospital for check-ups, following the standard procedure. A small miracle given the images, which are cold in the back. The first Tänak rally under the Hyundai colors could not have started in a worse way … Apart from this major accident, the special was marked by the new victory of Elfyn Evans, three seconds ahead of Ogier and nine over Neuville. So much so that the Toyota driver took the lead in the rally, three seconds ahead of the Belgian and five and a half ahead of the French.

    SS3: Evans dominates, Neuville stays in the lead
    Elfyn Evans (Toyota) is now second in the Monte-Carlo rally, after his victory in SS3 with two seconds ahead of Sébastien Loeb (Hyundai) and five over world champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai). No rain on the program but a temperature of 3 ° C for this first special of the day, which saw the leader Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) finish twenty seconds behind the Briton. “In a bend, there was a lot of ice, I had to restart and I lost a little time. It was slippery than I imagined and I struggled with my tires, ”admitted the Belgian at the finish. He is only 5”4 ahead of Evans and 7”5 ahead of Ogier.

    Ranking after SS7 – Friday January 24, 2020
    1- E.Evans – S.Martin (GBR-GBR, Toyota) in 1h30’14 “7
    2- S. Ogier – J. Ingrassia (FRA-FRA, Toyota) at 2 “7
    3- T.Neuville – N.Gilsoul (BEL-BEL, Hyundai) at 10 “1
    4- S.Loeb – D.Elena (FRA-MON, Hyundai) at 57 “6
    5- E.Lappi – J.Ferm (FIN-FIN, Ford) at 1’45 “9

    Special stage winners
    Evans: 3 (ES3, ES4, ES5)
    Ogier: 3 (ES1, ES6, ES7)
    Neuville: 1 (ES2)

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