Lappi wins SS10, Rovanperä drops time with tire choice

Road position helped Lappi to victory, while rally leader Rovanperä dropped almost 10s to Neuville


Esapekka Lappi won SS10 of Croatia Rally from first on the road, proving that the road order is still giving a considerable advantage to the early runners.

Kalle Rovanperä won six of the eight stages on Friday, having run first on the road, but Lappi took up the reins on Saturday, and won the Jaškovo – Mali Modruš Potok test in a time of 5m52.8s.

Lappi’s Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans was his closest challenger, and he ended up six tenths adrift when he crossed the finish line.

Gus Greensmith survived a scary moment towards the end of the stage, going slightly wide after a jump. The moment caused him a few tenths, but he was still fast enough to set the third fastest time.

“It’s a mega stage and I really enjoyed it,” said Greensmith.

“A big jump towards the end – it was wet on the entry and I had a bit of a wild landing, but it’s all good!”


Ott Tänak and Rovanperä took a different approach to everyone else for SS10, starting on full wets, while everyone else was either on dries, or a split between the two.

That approach worked well for Tänak who managed to end up fourth, but the same could not be said for Rovanperä, who was 13s slower than the fastest time.

“It was a really dirty stage, so I put the full wets on and tried to take it a bit more carefully,” said the rally leader. “We need to be a bit faster, then it’s fine.”

Thierry Neuville was one driver to tackle the stage on a crossover of wet and dry tires and he managed to go fifth fastest.

Neuville’s rally has been full of drama, and whilst he did have a clean stage, it could only get busier behind the scenes, as he has lodged an appeal for the one-minute penalty he was issued with last night for speeding.


M-Sport’s Craig Breen was four tenths behind Neuville in sixth, and his team-mate Pierre-Louis Loubet was seventh.

But Loubet’s stage wasn’t without issue after reporting that he was struggling with a power steering issue through the 6.27 mile test.

Takamoto Katsuta also didn’t have the perfect run. He hit a wet patch right at the start of the stage, almost missing the first corner, but he continued and went eighth fastest, 14.7s slower than team-mate Lappi, while WRC2 runner Nikolay Gryazin rounded out the top 10.

At the moment, the overall classification isn’t 100% clear, with times still being calculated for those that didn’t have the chance to make it through SS9.

SS10 times

1 Esapekka Lappi/Jenne Ferm (Toyota) 5m52.8s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota) +0.6s
3 Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (M-Sport Ford) +2.2s
4 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) +2.4s
5 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +3.2s
6 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (M-Sport Ford) +3.6s
7 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (M-Sport Ford) +5.0s
8 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) +13.0s
9 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota) +14.7s
10 Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Škoda) +26.0s