Lappi fastest on SS13, Neuville hit by engine trouble

The fastest time was in reach for Neuville until his car started slowing with a few corners to go


Esapekka Lappi has won his second stage of Croatia Rally, as Thierry Neuville suffers engine issues at the end of SS13.

Lappi, who was first on the road, had a clean run to complete the Kostanjevac – Petruš Vrh stage in 13m19.8s, seven tenths of a second faster than Hyundai’s Neuville who was on course to win the stage until he was hit with an engine problem just a few corners before the end.

“I have an engine problem. I lost the power,” said a frustrated Neuville.

“So I had maybe 40% of the power for the last five kilometers.”

It was another frustrating stage for Neuville, but his team-mate Ott Tänak did at least fare better to keep spirits in the Hyundai camp up.

Tänak was 6.2s slower than Lappi through the 14.76-mile test, but crucially he was 3.8s faster than Kalle Rovanperä, reducing the Toyota driver’s rally lead to 13s.

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“It’s not possible to be faster anymore if you don’t take the extra risks. I tried to keep a good pace, but not push too much,” said Rovanperä.

Craig Breen remains third overall, but his lack of experience of the stage, having been unable to attack it competitively this morning due to Oliver Solberg’s crash, meant his advantage over Neuville has been reduced to 11.2s.

Elfyn Evans’ fifth place remains firmly intact, but he had a strong stage, ending up third fastest, 5.6s down on Lappi’s time.

Takamoto Katsuta is still struggling with confidence, and also picked up a front left puncture to boot which left him over 1m20s down on Lappi through SS13. He’s all at sea in sixth, while Gus Greensmith is a further eight minutes behind in seventh.

The afternoon is all about gaining experience for Greensmith, after five punctures ruined his chances of fighting towards the front, but he had a better run through Kostanjevac – Petruš Vrh to go sixth fastest.


Meanwhile, the battle for the WRC2 victory swung back into Yohan Rossel’s favor on SS13, with the Citroën driver managing to eke out another 5.8s to extend his class lead to Nikolay Gryazin out to 47.4s.

But Kajetan Kajetanowicz was the big mover, jumping to third in class and ninth overall after Eric Camilli lost over two minutes after picking up a puncture.

SS13 results

1 Esapekka Lappi/Jenne Ferm (Toyota) 13m19.8s
2 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +0.7s
3 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota) +5.6s
4 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) +6.2s
5 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (M-Sport Ford) +7.7s
6 Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (M-Sport Ford) +8.1s
7 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) +10.0s
8 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (M-Sport Ford) +15.7s
9 Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Maciej Szczepaniak (Škoda) +56.4s
10 Emil Lindholm/Reeta Hämäläinen (Škoda) +57.6s

Leading positions after SS13

1 Rovanperä/Halttunen (Toyota) 2h04m32.1s
2 Tänak/Järveoja (Hyundai) +13.0s
3 Breen/Nagle (M-Sport Ford) +1m03.5s
4 Neuville/Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +1m14.7s
5 Evans/Martin (Toyota) +1m56.8s
6 Katsuta/Johnston (Toyota) +5m26.5s
7 Yohan Rossel/Valentin Sarreaud (Citroën) +7m25.5s
8 Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Škoda) +8m12.9s
9 Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Škoda) +8m28.8s
10 Lindholm/Hämäläinen (Škoda) +8m58.0s