The problems of the favorites entered the course of the competition and the development of the championship. Already in the third test, Estonian defending champion Ott Tänak (Hynduai i20 Coupé WRC) was blamed for the crash. Last year’s winner of the Turkish company, the Frenchman Sebastien Ogier, who had the engine of his Toyota Yaris WRC special started burning, had to resign in the penultimate stage.
On Sunday, the participants of the competition had the longest special stage of the competition – Çetibeli in the length of 38.15 kilometers and a shorter stage Marmaris. The final 6.28 kilometer long measured test was conceived as a Power Stage. Here, the first five riders took from five to one point as a bonus to the classic rating.
The longest section of the competition fulfilled what Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) predicted on Saturday afternoon that the participants will have the roughest stage ahead of them. The Belgian was not the only one who had to change a wheel on the erzeta track after a flat tire. Other victims were Sebastien Ogier (Toyota), Esapekka Lappi (Ford) and Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota). Frenchman Sebastien Loeb (Hyundai) finished the erzet with a defect in the right front tire.
“It looked like a broken muffler. I suddenly realized that there was a flat tire, so we had to replace it. ”Neuville
“At first I wasn’t sure if it was a defect, but unfortunately it was soon clear.” Lappi
“I didn’t see a stone that was probably in the dust somewhere. Unfortunately, we hit him hard. ”Rovanperä
“I was driving carefully in the middle of the track and suddenly there was a puncture.” Loeb
“I do not know how I came to this. This is not our day. ”Ogier
However, the worst hit was Teemu Suninen, who stopped on a forest road with his left rear wheel upturned and the competition ended for him. The technical problems were sent from the top ten by the Frenchman Pierre Louise Loubet (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC). Ott Tänak (Hyundai) had other problems, who returned to the competition after Saturday’s resignation, but had problems with the intercom at SS9. Nevertheless, he managed to finish second in the timed test by 31.6 seconds behind the fastest Evans. Thirty-one-year-old Ostrovan stretched the fastest between the unprecedentedly sharp rocks. He improved from fourth straight to first place with a lead of 46.9 seconds. “We did what we could and here’s the result,” Evans said at the finish of the erzeta.
The engine started to burn
When the participants of the competition returned to the start of the 38.15-kilometer-long measured test after the tenth stage, another drama was on the program. He first repeated Lappi’s defect, and when he set out on the Ogier track, his yaris began to lose power. “Look at the alarm, the engine alarm,” Ingrassiu shouted at the navigator. The Frenchman tried to bring the car to the finish line, but after a few kilometers, smoke began to roll from under the hood, and soon flames also appeared. Ogier had to resign for the first time during this year’s championship.
The riders had to choose a compromise on the longest stage. First, to strive for the best time and at the same time save the tires so that they can try to fight for bonus points at the final Power Stage, which measured 6.28 kilometers. This is evidenced by the statements of the most experienced fighter of the starting round and this year’s rookie behind the wheel of the WRC special.
“I tried to push where it went and save the car where it was very broken.” Loeb
“I’m saving tires on the Power Stage, I’ve never driven so slowly with this car. Maybe the tires are OK and we’ll get some points. ”Rovanperä
Tänak was penalized for not being the first car on the track of the final stage and did not clean the track behind his opponents. In the end, his tactics worked out almost one hundred percent. He was second on the Power Stage just 0.4 seconds behind Neuvill and scored four points, while one of his great rivals, Ogier, came out unexpectedly empty. Tänak remained in third place and his shortage of twenty-seven points for the championship leader is still “playable”.
The winner was embarrassed
Evans did not get nervous and even scored two bonus points to twenty-five for his victory in Turkey in the final special. This is his third triumph in the world championship. He managed to win this year in Sweden and before that in 2017 in Great Britain (Ford Fiesta RS WRC).
“It was a difficult weekend. On Saturday afternoon, it seemed that our chances of winning were already closed. On Sunday, I tried to stay on the broken tracks in the middle to avoid a defect and it paid off. I am well aware of the need to be a little lucky. I rarely manage to inherit positions from others in this way like here at the Turkish Rally. On the one hand, of course, I’m happy, but my feelings of victory are a little embarrassing when you know you’ve been a little more conservative. But that was the right tactic to choose, “Evans commented on his success.
Second in the Neuville finish, who was first after Saturday, he did not forget to complain about everything but his abilities. “I feel we deserved more for what we have shown here. Unfortunately, we were not lucky on our side in the morning, “said the bespectacled Belgian, who won seven of the twelve special stages of the Turkish Rally.
Sixteen months later, nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb appeared on the podium and again it was third place. The last time he succeeded was in May last year at the premiere of the World Cup in Chile, where this year did not drive due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We had a good, albeit a bit challenging day with a defect in the first long stage. In Power Stage, I didn’t push so much because I don’t need points for the championship. It was about keeping the podium, it worked out and I have reason to be satisfied, “Loeb smiled at the finish.
The final standings of the Turkish Rally
1. Evans, Martin (Brit./Toyota Yaris WRC) 2: 43: 02.7; 2. Neuville, Gilsoul (Bel./Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) +35.2; 3. Loeb, Elena (Fr., Mon./Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) +59.4; 4. Rovanperä, Haltunen (Fin./Toyota Yaris WRC) +2: 35.9; 5. Greensmith, Edmondson (Brit./Ford Fiesta WRC) +4: 08.3; 6. Lapland, Ferm (Fin./Ford Fiesta WRC) +5: 36.2; 7. Kajetanowicz, Szczepaniak (Pol./Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +12: 35.5; 8. Tidemand, Barth (Šved. / Škoda Fabia R5 evo) +12: 59.7; 9. Fourmaux, Jamoul (Fr./Ford Fiesta Rally2) +14: 42.6; 10. Bulacia Wilkinson, OHannesian (Bolivia, Arg./Citroën C3 R5) +14: 46.4; 11. Avci, Vatansever (Tur./Citroën C3 R5) +19: 51.1; 12. Heller, Martí (Chile, Sp. / Ford Fiesta Rally2) +22: 03.4; 13. Cukurova, Akcay (Tur./Kkoda Fabia R5) +24: 47.4; 14. Solans, Barreiro (Sp. / Ford Fiesta Rally2) +31: 15.5; 15. Fernandez, Garcia (Chile, Arg./Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +33: 52.5; … 17. Today, Jarveoja (Est./Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) +1: 13: 43.3.
World standings (after 5 out of 7 rallies)
Riders: 1. Evans (Brit./Toyota Yaris WRC) 97; 2. Ogier (Fr./Toyota Yaris WRC) 79; 3. Today (Est./Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) 70; 4. Rovanperä (Fin./Toyota Yaris WRC) 70; 5. Neuville (Bel./Hyundai i20 Coupé) 65; 6. Lapland (Fin./Ford Fiesta WRC) 38; 7. Suninen (Fin./Ford Fiesta WRC) 34; 8. Breen (Irl./Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) 25; 9. Loeb (Fr./Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) 24; 10. Greensmith (Brit./Ford Fiesta WRC) 16; 11. Tidemand (Swedish / Škoda Fabia R5 evo) 12; 12. Katsuta (Jap./Toyota Yaris WRC) 8; 13. Kajetanowicz (Pol./Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) 6; 14. Gryjazin (Rus./Hyundai i20 R5) 6; 15. Bulacia Wilkinson (Bolivia / Citroën C3 R5) 5; 16. Fourmaux (Fr./Ford Fiesta Rally2) 2; 17. Camilli (Fr./Citroën C3 R5) 2; 18. Solberg (Nor./Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) 2; 19. Ostberg (Nor./Citroën C3 R5) 2; 20. Huttunen (Fin./Hyundai i20 R5) 1; 21. Veiby (Nor./Hyundai i20 R5) 1.
Brands: 1. Toyota 179; 2. Hyundai 171 3. Ford 101.
Leadership in the competition: Ogier 25, Evans 21, Tänak 16, Neuville 11, Rovanperä 1, Breen 1, Loeb 1.
Exams won: Neuville 26; Ogier 16, Tänak 11, Evans 11, Rovanperä 7, Breen 2, Sordó 1, Lappi 1, Loeb 1.
Podium: Evans 4, Ogier 3, Tänak 3, Neuville 2, Rovanperä 1, Suninen 1, Loeb 1.
Calendar 2020 – 23.-26. 1st Rallye Monte Carlo, 13.-16. 2nd Swedish Rally, 12.-15. 3rd Mexican Rally, 4.-6. 9th Estonian Rally, 18.-20. 9th Turkish Rally, 8-11. 10th Rally Sardinia (Italy), 19.-22. 11. Ypres rally (Belgium).
The results are unofficial.