Neuville starts strong, Ogier third

Neuville starts strong, Ogier third

Forced to open the road, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) is nevertheless leading the Croatia rally after the first four specials. Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) finished this first morning in third place.

Let’s go for the fourth round of the 2024 World Rally Championship season! The fourth edition of the Croatia Rally began this Friday, in the presence of its 2021 and 2023 winners, Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans, but in the absence of Kalle Rovanperä, the double world champion winner in 2022, who is racing at mid -time this season and skipped this Croatia rally.

And at the end of the first four specials (out of 20 in total), it was championship leader Thierry Neuville who showed himself to be the strongest. Even if he is forced to open the road, the Hyundai driver already has an eight and a half second lead over Evans and 21 and a half over Ogier at the end of the first morning.

Ogier and Fourmaux in the Top 5

The Belgian driver opened up a good gap from the first special, winning with respectively six and fourteen seconds ahead of the Briton and the Frenchman and this put him on the right track, even if he did not then not always happy when having to open the road. A generally dry road, although there was a thin layer of snow on the grass during SS3. Sébastien Ogier, victim of a slow puncture in SS1 and going a little wide in a corner in SS2, was not really satisfied with his choice of tires on this constantly changing asphalt, but he remains in the game, with its 21 seconds delay.

The other Frenchman in the running, Adrien Fourmaux, is in fifth place, and his first objective is to stay in the wake of Ott Tänak, fourth with four seconds ahead of him. Four stages will be on the program for the afternoon.

Ranking at the end of SS4 (out of 20) – Friday April 19, 2024
1- Thierry Neuville – Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL-BEL/Hyundai) and 32’26″1
2- Elfyn Evans – Scott Martin (GBR-GBR/Toyota) à 8″6
3- Sébastien Ogier – Vincent Landais (FRA-FRA/Toyota) at 21″5
4- Ott Tänak – Martin Järveoja (EST-EST/Hyundai) à 37″3
5- Adrien Fourmaux – Alexandre Coria (FRA-FRA/Ford M-Sport) at 41’6

Special stage winners
Neuville: 3 (ES1, ES3, ES4)
Evans : 1 (ES2)

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