Lappi explains his rally-ending opening stage crash

Hyundai's Esapekka Lappi retired from Rally Chile in a huge SS1 crash, which he takes the blame for


Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi has explained what caused him to crash out of Rally Chile right at the very end of the first stage.

Lappi rolled his i20 N Rally1 within sight of the finish-line after clipping a concrete culvert on the inside of the final left-hand corner.

It was a violent accident but both Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm are OK.

DirtFish made it to the scene of the crash where we grabbed a word with Lappi.

“It was too late braking, as simple as that,” he said. “And then it was the end of the story.

“Already when you brake too late, and you have no chance to go wide, and for sure I tried to go a bit more inside, but there is also some concrete blocks.

“So it didn’t actually matter what I do, it would have ended like this anyway.”

Asked if it was down to a pacenote error, Lappi replied: “I think the pacenote is fairly OK.

“Throughout the stage it felt that I was a bit braking too early all the time, so I tried to get the marker a bit better. And then it tips, it went too far.”

Lappi has “no chance” to restart in the rally as the rollcage of his car is damaged.

“It’s fairly fast, and you have long, long corners, and the road is narrow,” he said of the stage conditions.

“But you can not commit because of the grip level. You don’t have the grip, so it was really – felt really weird all the time and very slow.”