Evans out again, Sordo suffers setback in Breen battle

Another problem for Elfyn Evans forces him out on SS16


Elfyn Evans has hit trouble for the second day in a row, parking up with broken suspension on Rally Italy, while Dani Sordo had a setback of his own in the battle for second.

Bedrock had bashed through the sump guard on Evans’ Yaris on Friday morning and sent his water temperatures through the roof, forcing him to park up and return on Saturday.

After a series of trouble-free stages on Saturday morning it all went wrong for a second time on the rerun of Coiluna – Loelle, where he picked up suspension damage on his rear-left corner.

Evans, who was running way down in 44th overall, initially pulled over to change the left-rear wheel thinking he’d suffered a puncture, only to discover the broken suspension and swiftly disappear down an access road.


Ott Tanäk picked up yet another stage win to extend his lead by another second to 46 seconds – but the second pass of Coiluna – Loelle was not so positive for team-mate Dani Sordo.

Craig Breen continues to occupy second place and his advantage over Sordo grew further, now up to 20.8s, after encoutering a problem at a watersplash late in the stage.

Despite braking hard before the jump preceding the watersplash he still ripped the front splitter off his i20 N Rally1 and the engine bay subsequently filled up with water, causing him to stall and lose several seconds.

Rather than be angry at the car, Sordo was mad at himself for what he considered a self-inflicted error.

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“I’m so f***ing stupid,” he said. “I didn’t go fast. I miss one thing in the front bumper and the water comes in. But last year [it was] exactly the same; I pass really slow and it’s this s***.”

That error allowed Pierre-Louis Loubet to narrow the gap to third place slightly, now at 13.5s. But the second-best Ford Puma driver was not going to allow himself to be lured into a dogfight for third.

“We know what is our target and I don’t want to change my philosophy because Sordo is in front,” said Loubet. “I continue in my way and with my feeling and we’ll see.”

Adrien Fourmaux is now under real pressure from Kalle Rovanperä for fifth place, dropping 9.8s to the championship leader.


“I can see that he is pushing,” said Fourmaux. “That’s good. But I think we still have some time for the next stage, so we’ll see. It will be interesting to stay in front of him for tomorrow, but we’ll see.”

Any hopes Takamoto Katsuta may have had of staying within reach of Rovanperä were gone by the second pass of Coiluna – Loelle, the side-effect of an earlier hard impact at the front of his GR Yaris.

With his under-body protection damaged his car’s radiator remains highly vulnerable and, while he cured an earlier issue with his cooling system, he’s afraid of breaking it for a second time.

“We got damage on the radiator and then we fixed it,” explained Katsuta.

“Now it’s OK but I have to be very careful driving because now the bumper is quite broken. If you go over a loose rock, I break [the radiator] again, so I really have to be careful and I need to avoid every single rock. All OK but I need to kill that speed at every jump and water[splash].”

SS16 Results

  1. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) 13m29.9s
  2. Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (M-Sport Ford) +1.0s
  3. Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) +4.1s
  4. Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (M-Sport Ford) +8.2s
  5. Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera (Hyundai) +9.8s
  6. Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (M-Sport Ford) +13.9s
  7. Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (M-Sport Ford) +14.5s
  8. Nikolay Gryazin/ Konstantin Aleksandrov (Škoda) +27.4s
  9. Jari Huttunen/ Mikko Lukka (M-Sport Ford) +31.0s
  10. Chris Ingram/Craig Drew (Škoda) +33.6s

Leading positions after SS16

  1. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) 2h32m17.3s
  2. Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (M-Sport Ford) +46.0s
  3. Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera (Hyundai) +1m06.8s
  4. Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (M-Sport Ford) +1m20.3s
  5. Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (M-Sport Ford) +2m13.9s
  6. Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) +2m23.2s
  7. Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota) +3m41.4s
  8. Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (M-Sport Ford) +4m51.8s
  9. Nikolay Gryazin/ Konstantin Aleksandrov (Škoda) +5m54.5s
  10. Jan Solans /Rodrigo Sanjuan (Citroën) +6m39.00s