WRC2 battle hots up as all drivers face off
Elfyn Evans will face the biggest threat to his WRC2 lead of the entire season at this week’s Rally Poland.
The Welshman – who won last week’s Scottish Rally (see page 16) – leads the WRC2 table by seven points going to Mikolajki, but for the first time this season all of the leading crews come together to go head-to-head.
The six drivers are all present this week, as is Finland’s Esapakka Lappi, who’s 10th in the table having started just two rallies. WRC2 regulations state drivers count their best six scores from seven starts, meaning the top crews can avoid each other for much of the year. Not this week. Evans said: “It’s going to be a big fight. I’m not bothered about that. The objective this season is to win WRC2 and to do that we’ve got to beat the best of the drivers out there – that’s what we’ll be aiming to do this week. Things haven’t gone our way in the last few rallies,” he said. “We’re out to put that right this time.”
Evans leads from Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs, who has also taken four scores, but his main rivals are Teemu Suninen (50 points from three starts), Pontus Tidemand (43 from two) and Lappi (17 from two).
Suninen scored a sensational WRC2 victory last time out in Sardinia in conditions he admits weren’t exactly to his liking.
“I’m a Finn,” he said, “I like to go flat out! Sardinia was narrow and quite slow in sections, but Poland is very fast – that’s more natural. We are all together in WRC in Poland; for everybody it has to be the full attack.”
Lappi dominated the fast WRC2 rounds in Poland and Finland last year and Suninen says he will keep an eye on his countryman. “[Esapekka] Lappi will be fast in Poland,” he said. “He’s strong on these kind of rallies and, of course, he has the factory Skoda.”
Briton Evans leads points Suninen