2 years ago

RallySport Magazine May 2017

  • Text
  • Rally
  • Rallysport
  • Subaru
  • Championship
  • Drivers
  • Stages
  • Rallying
  • Toyota
  • Audi
  • Hyundai
The May 2017 issue of RallySport Magazine features: News / Regulars: * National Capital Rally preview * Vale: Timo Makinen * Five minutes with - Ross Tapper * Martin Holmes column * Photo of the month Feature stories: * Molly Taylor column * Head and neck safety * Subaru’s RS Challenge - a look back * Audi Magic - Dylan Turner’s Quattro S1 AP4 * A Kiwi in Argentina * A WRC hijacking in Sanremo Event reports: * WA Forest Rally - ARC 2 * Rally of Whangarei - NZRC 2 * Southern Rally - SARC 1 * Rally of Argentina - WRC 5 * Rally of Portugal - WRC 6 * Mitta Mountain Rally


REPORT: RALLY OF ARGENTINA - WRC 5 So near yet so far. 28-year old Elfyn Evans led Rally Argentina from the second stage to the penultimate stage, only for his first WRC win to be denied on the final stage by Thierry Neuville – by a margin of 0.7 seconds, the third closest margin in WRC history. Halfway through the event, Evans had a lead of a minute, but circumstances intervened and the lead was eroded to just 0.6 seconds before the final stage. Neuville gave Hyundai a second WRC win of the season, despite troubles for all their team on the first morning. M-Sport finished a remarkable 2 nd , 3 rd and 4 th with fourth placed Ogier NOT being a manufacturer points scorer. Toyota struggled and Citroen had a momentous disaster, essentially created by two major crashes for their number one driver Kris Meeke. Skoda driver Pontus Tidemand scored his third WRC2 win of the season. This event will long be remembered for Evans’ majestic performance, initiated by a favourable good starting position and DMack tyres which have always performed well on this event, then impressively by the way he maturely held that advantage almost till the end. The event was the roughest event of the season so far and its small entry highlighted the challenges of running long haul championship rallies. New conditions, different circumstances, new things were happening in Argentina. Things which affected the teams were that testing in the country was, again, Elfyn Evans was unlucky not to score his first WRC win. forbidden. This was the toughest event for the 2017 cars so far, so the aerodynamical bodywork was going to be hard pressed to keep stable handling characteristics when they were damaged. The conditions were expected to favour soft compound tyres which were used almost exclusively on the event, and especially DMack tyres which traditionally have gone well here in the past. And of course, the first day running order was going to challenge the drivers that had gained valuable points earlier in the season if, as expected, the conditions were going to be dry. None of these factors fully prepared for the impact of the performance on the Friday of the DMack driver Elfyn Evans, which was outstanding. He came within an ace of winning his first WRC event. There were no fewer than five 2017 Fiesta World Rally Cars competing on the event, the three official entries and the private cars of the OneBet Jipocar and the Bertelli teams. Ostberg progressively moulded his driving into a competitive style until the rear diffuser detached itself and the driver slid wide and damaged Ogier finished fourth, despite not being happy with his car. 40 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - MAY 2017

the suspension. One stage was missed, but Ostberg still scored Driver championship points. Evans was the star of the official team, but was delayed by a puncture and also rear suspension problems. Why was it that Evans finally lost his win? Was it his brake pads glazing on the final day, delays after clipping the bridge on the final stage or what. Who knows? Sebastien Ogier was far from happy. On top of his early running order handicap, he had steering and rear suspension problems. Ott Tanak had no real problems apart from a puncture and some spins, and towards the end of the rally was seriously challenging Evans and Neuville. On Friday evening, four M-Sport cars were in the top five, interrupted only by Neuville’s Hyundai, with Ostberg lying second overall. It was strange to see that Ogier was the one team driver who did not score Manufacturer points! Hyundai had a variety of problems, especially on the first day of the event, not helped when Hayden Paddon rolled, Neuville had damper failure and Dani Sordo had damaged steering which he had to repair in the middle of a stage. Both the Toyotas had troubles. Jari-Matti Latvala had a strange first day problem with the engine lapsing into safe mode, while teammate Juho Hanninen had problems all through the rally with a loss of turbo pressure. Citroen, however, had what can best be described as a rally from hell. Kris Meeke lost control of his car on a compression, like in Mexico, but this time causing considerable damage. Then the team set about and repaired the damage (leaving Kris to say his mechanics were the best in the world!) – and then the next day he heavily crashed the car again. This caused considerable logistical problems for the team, the upset of which was the team voluntarily withdrew Craig Breen’s entry at the end of the event to escape the regulatory component linking rules, and to enable new parts to be fitted on the next events for their cars. It was a dramatic act, leading the team to forfeit championship points from Breen’s performance. The WRC2 entry comprised five Skoda Fabias and one Ford Fiesta. Skoda Motorsport was spreading the championship scoring options round their team drivers, so Andreas Mikkelsen had now won two events out of two, and Pontus Tidemand had won three out of three. It was a rally that Hayden Paddon would rather forget. Tanak was one of three Fiestas in the top four placings. Latvala jumps the Yaris on the opening Super Special Stage. MAY 2017 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 41

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