It is impossible to be critical of any of our brave drivers who strapped themselves into their Rally1 cars, engaged their race faces and competed to honor the memory of Craig last weekend.
I always say that my driver ratings are not necessarily about who’s the fastest, who wins the most stages or who wins the rally – it’s always about context.
And when you put last week’s event into context, all our brave crews out there deserve great credit.
Elfyn Evans 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 1st
Perfect timing for Elfyn and Scotty, taking their first win in a Rally1 car on such an emotional weekend.
Evans drove to the conditions, didn’t let himself get too involved in the intense, risky battles and made no mistakes all week.
This is very much how you build a championship challenge and as Elfyn finds more consistent pace he will only go from strength to strength.
Reaffirming his place as part of the sport’s elite, this could well turn out to be a seminal weekend for Elfyn and Scott.
Sébastien Ogier 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 5th
An early puncture put paid to Ogier’s chances of taking the win here but he once again showed his class, and more importantly his pace, as he fought back to claim the vital manufacturers’ points that Toyota needed from him.
Continues to lead the championship and continues to demonstrate that he is still the fastest man in the world in a Rally1 car.
Kalle Rovanperä 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 4th
Another one to suffer tire issues early on, but Rovanperä fought back admirably to claim good championship points and very much keep his title defense on track.
Struggled early on with setup issues but he’ll take confidence from his performance in his final day battle with Ogier.
Takamoto Katsuta 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 6th
Katsuta needed a clean run here to get his season up and running and that’s exactly what the ever likeable Toyota charger delivered.
This was never going to be an easy event for Taka but he drove admirably to avoid any major issues on what are the most challenging asphalt stages he’ll see all season.
Ott Tänak 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 2nd
Blindingly fast at times, this was affirmation that the Puma is slowly but surely being adapted to suit Tänak’s requirements. It’s frightening to think just how good this combination will be once the team gives Ott the car he demands from them.
I loved listening to the more open, reflective Ott last weekend; long may that continue.
Pierre-Louis Loubet 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 7th
Definite progress from Loubet here in Croatia. Ignore the stages where he made the wrong tire choices, and look at the splits on his better stages.
No question the pace is there, the craft and rally nous are growing, and good times are coming for young Loubet.
Thierry Neuville 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 33rd
Very much a man on a mission last weekend. Thierry was desperate to win this one for Craig and for the team but it just wasn’t to be.
He once again showed just how brave and tenacious he is to wrestle that Hyundai through the stages, visibly on edge, in pursuit of that admirable goal.
Esapekka Lappi 10/10
Croatia Rally result: 3rd
Out of all the drivers, EP had to dig the deepest to make it through this event. But my goodness, he did just that with incredible resolve and admirable focus and determination.
There was enormous pressure to bring the car home and score a fitting and deserving podium and Lappi was very much up to the task. One of his finest performances without any doubt.