Will Kalle Rovanpera defend his razor-thin 0.1 seconds lead in Rally Poland's final stretch?

Will Kalle Rovanpera defend his razor-thin 0.1 seconds lead in Rally Poland's final stretch?

Festus Chuma 16:03 - 29.06.2024

The Toyota Gazoo driver is leading Rally Poland by a slim margin setting up a tense final day showdown with top rivals.

Defending World Rally Championship (WRC) champion Kalle Rovanpera has surged to the front of the pack in a thrilling day at Rally Poland, leading the race into what promises to be a nail-biting Sunday.

With just a razor-thin margin separating the top drivers, Rovanpera holds a slender advantage of only 0.1 seconds over his closest rival.

Saturday morning's stages were marked by high speeds and fierce competition as Rovanpera stepping in for the injured Sebastien Ogier, showed remarkable skill despite minimal preparation.

"We are happy to be at the end of the loop now. With such little preparation, it is scary in fifth gear all the time!" Rovanpea shared as per WRC.

The rally taking place on the super-fast roads east of Mikolajki saw Andreas Mikkelsen initially leading the event but later dropping to third.

Mikkelsen, driving the Hyundai i20 N, managed a comeback by clinching the morning’s final stage at Czarne moving him just behind Elfyn Evans, Rovanpera's Toyota GR Yaris team-mate.

"I was flat-out. The pace is high and we are trying hard – it’s a good fight," Mikkelsen commented.

Elfyn Evans now sandwiched between Rovanpera and Mikkelsen remains a strong contender for the lead.

The trio’s performance sets the stage for a thrilling showdown on Sunday with mere seconds separating them.

Further down the order, M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux holds fourth place, managing to widen his lead over the fifth-placed Martina Sesks in a non-hybrid Puma.

Championship leader Thierry Neuville, after a challenging start on Friday made significant progress by moving up to sixth place.

Meanwhile, the WRC2 category sees its own fierce battle with Sami Pajari, the 2021 FIA Junior WRC champion, leading the pack and holding ninth overall.

The young Finnish driver is closely followed by the 2023 FIA Junior WRC champion, Robert Virves, who broke into the top 10 after Kajetan Kajetanowicz encountered mechanical issues.

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