Neuville leads WRC Catalunya Rally 2021 after day one
Hyundai showed strong pace at Catalunya special stages and showed that there is a strong pace in those cars but especially on the tarmac surface. It also seems that gravel surface is just too much for their fragile i20 WRC model which won the manufacturer's World Rally Championship crown in 2020.
They had too much retirements this season because of the random errors of their suspension and that was really frustrating for their top gun Ott Tanak. I say top gun because he won the driver's WRC crown in 2019 while their better placed driver this season Thierry Neuville finished 2nd overall for so many times.
Problem with Tanak is that he starts to overdrive when everything doesn't go on his plan and then he starts to make mistakes when trying to catch the guys in front.
Neuville on the other hand is more patient and he showed the patience today and that brought him a lead of the rally while Tanak crashed out again.
What about Toyota drivers?
Seb Ogier and Elfyn Evans are fighting for the driver's WRC crown and currently it is Evans in front of Ogier and the distance is 18.7s. It's not much but it is also hard to catch when you have the driver super motivated that you have to catch on the championship table.
Yeah, it is still 24 points lead of Ogier in front of Evans but we will see how it will looks like after this rally.
Dani Sordo drove safely and fast for the 4th place overall and that is what Hyundai needs - a stable and fast driver who will always bring the points to the team while two other driver fight for the front.
Finnish youngster Kalle Rovanpera is distant but safe 5th overall while two M-Sport Ford drivers are again in disappointing 6th and 7th positions, like the most of this season. Their only chance for better is if someone from the front retire through out the rally.
Two newcomers from 2C Competition - Oliver Solberg and Nil Solans are in 8th and 9th place with the private Hyundai i20 WRC rally cars.
Tomorrow is another long day and there is lots of miles until the rally end. Let the best win - as always...
- Evans + 0.7
- Ogier + 19.4
- Sordo + 24.8
- Rovanper @ + 38.0
- Mravi + 1:10.2
- Greensmith + 1:28.9
- Solberg + 1:55.6
- Solana + 2:30.5