broken suspension, flat tires, Ogier retires, Rovanperä well ahead in Greece

Leader of the 70th Acropolis Rally, the Frenchman has lost all hope of victory after suffering several incidents this Saturday.

French Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) retired after suffering several incidents on Saturday in the last special of the day of the Greece rally and ceded the lead of the rally, 10th round out of 13 of the WRC championship, to the Finn Kalle Rovanperä, also on Toyota.

Leader of the 70th Acropolis Rally after the abandonment at the beginning of the afternoon of the Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), who had dominated the proceedings since Friday morning, the Frenchman finished the 12th special with a broken suspension and lost everything hope of victory.

The misfortunes of some making the happiness of others, Rovanperä, reigning world champion and leader of the provisional championship clification, now seems to be heading straight towards victory since he has more than two minutes ahead of the Spaniard Dani Sordo (Hyundai) and the Briton Elfyn Evans (Toyota), his main competitor in the race for the world title.

During the three special stages contested in the morning, Neuville and Ogier had a nice duel, the Frenchman taking the lead after the first special won by Rovanperä, before the Belgian responded in the next one, taking advantage of an error from the Gapençais , which had missed an intersection before stalling.

Leader with around ten seconds ahead of Ogier at the start of the tenth special, Neuville made a mistake and broke his right front suspension, which forced him to retire.

The Frenchman then inherited the lead and resisted Rovanperä’s attacks as best he could. But at the end of SS12, he broke a suspension and finished the stage with two flat rear tires. Unable to reach the service park, he too had to abandon.

Neuville and Ogier will try to take part in the final special on Sunday, the Power Stage, which earns the winner up to 5 points for the championship.

With only three stages on the program, barely 63 timed kilometers, Rovanperä should be content to manage his comfortable lead on Sunday to secure his third victory of the season.

. Clification of the Rally of Greece, 10th round of the WRC world championship, after the 12th special on Saturday:
1. Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (FIN, Toyota) 2’29”40.5
2. Daniel Sordo/Can Carrera (ESP, Hyundai) at 2’04”4
3. Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (GBR, Toyota) at 2’09”4
4. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (EST, M-Sport/Ford) at 4’49”7
5. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN, Hyundai) at 6’16”2;…

Special stage winners: Kalle Rovanperä (SS1, SS3, SS7, SS9, SS10, SS11, SS12), Ott Tänak (SS5, SS6), Thierry Neuville (SS2, SS8), Sébastien Ogier (SS4).

Main retirements: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL, Hyundai), Sébastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (FRA, Toyota), Pierre-Louis Loubet/Nicolas Gilsoul (FRA-BEL, M-Sport/Ford).

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