Evans and stage winner Ogier cut Neuville’s lead

A 1-2 for the Toyota Yaris WRC pair on SS6 means both are now within 10 seconds of the Rally Croatia lead


Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans cut the gap to Rally Croatia leader Thierry Neuville by completing a 1-2 for Toyota on stage six.

Hyundai’s Neuville was victorious by almost five seconds on the first pass through the 14.76-mile Kostanjevac – Petruš Vrh test on Friday morning, but he couldn’t match the pace of the Toyota duo when the stage was repeated in the afternoon.

Ogier claimed his second stage win on the World Rally Championship’s newest asphalt rally, eclipsing his team-mate Evans by just 0.3 seconds.

His stage-winning time was 3.5s quicker than Neuville’s, bringing third-place Ogier to within 10 seconds of the rally leader with two stages of the day remaining.

Evans completed a second Toyota 1-2 of the rally and currently sits 5.2s adrift of Neuville in second place.

“There’s no clean line,” Neuville said. “The car is working nice so that’s definitely helping. Sometimes I could have taken a few more risks, but it’s still early in the rally.”

Neuville’s team-mate Ott Tänak failed to replicate the stage-winning pace he showed on the previous stage, with a time that was 7.7s slower than Ogier’s benchmark. This moves him 19.1s away from the podium places.


Photo: Hyundai Motorsport

The third Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC of Craig Breen was fifth fastest on the stage, to maintain that same position in the overall classification.

Gus Greensmith was faster than his M-Sport Ford team-mate Adrien Fourmaux for the first time on the rally. He edged Fourmaux by just half a second to close the overall gap to his team-mate’s sixth place to 4.9s.

They were both beaten by 2C Competition Hyundai’s Pierre-Louis Loubet, who went sixth on the stage to reduce the deficit to the M-Sport duo in the overall standings.

Takamoto Katsuta fell further adrift of the top eight overall after a troubled stage aboard his Toyota Yaris WRC that featured a brief stoppage early on.


Photo: McKlein Image Database

Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 driver Nikolay Gryazin took his second WRC2 stage win of the rally to reduce defending champion Mads Østberg’s class-leading advantage to 5.2s.

M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen was third quickest on the stage and he remains in that position overall, with Marco Bulacia and 2020 Junior WRC champion Tom Kristensson rounding out the top five.

In WRC3, Polish rally ace Kajetan Kajetanowicz is now within 2.2s of long-time class leader Yohan Rossel after winning stage six.

Fellow Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo driver Emil Lindholm was just 0.3s slower than Kajetanowicz, enabling him to leapfrog Chris Ingram for fifth place.

SS6 times

1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota) 12m55.8s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota) +0.3s
3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +3.5s
4 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) +7.7s
5 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai) +11.5s
6 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (2C Competition Hyundai) +17.9s

Leading positions after SS6

1 Neuville/Wydaeghe 45m18.6s
2 Evans/Martin +5.2s
3 Ogier/Ingrassia +9.4s
4 Tänak/Järveoja +28.5s
5 Breen/Nagle +43.5s
6 Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (M-Sport Ford) +1m02.3s
7 Gus Greensmith/Chris Patterson (M-Sport Ford) +1m07.2s
8 Loubet/Landais +1m13.2s
9 Takamoto Katsuta/Daniel Barritt (Toyota) +2m04.3s
10 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën) +2m38.9s