M-Sport’s Ott Tänak has claimed his second win of the season at Rally Chile as Toyota clinched the 2023 WRC Manufacturers’ title.
Ott Tänak has won Rally Chile from Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and Toyota’s Elfyn Evans, making it a podium with all three WRC Manufacturers present.
It was a long-awaited 19th career rally win for Tänak who took last claimed victory at last February’s Rally Sweden, the second round of the season. The 2019 world champion made the difference yesterday after making a good tyre call and mastering the difficult conditions. His 58.3-second lead heading into Sunday never came in trouble, winning the event by 42.1 seconds in the end.
Thierry Neuville finished in second after starting the final day 13.9s behind his team-mate Teemu Suninen. The Belgian won the first two stages on Sunday to reduce the gap to 6.7s. Then in the penultimate stage, Suninen made a mistake, damaging the front-left suspension and eventually going off the road.
Neuville inherited second place while Elfyn Evans moved up to the final podium spot. No more shuffles happened in the Power Stage, confirming a Tänak-Neuville-Evans podium.
Toyota claim 7th WRC Manufacturers’ title
Kalle Rovanperä finished the event in P4 overall but won the Power Stage from his team-mate and title rival Elfyn Evans. The Finn had a mathematical chance of winning the title in Chile this weekend if had managed to outscore Evans by 27 points.
A lot had to go Rovanperä’s way for that scenario, however, the reigning champion, who celebrated his 23rd birthday today, heads into the penultimate round of the season at this month’s Central Europe Rally with a 31-point advantage in the drivers’ championship standings.
However, there was, alongside his birthday, a reason to celebrate for Rovanperä as Toyota claimed their 7th Manufacturers’ title in Chile. Suninen’s off in SS15 made it possible for the Japanese manufacturer to claim it in Chile. The team’s 3-4 finish in the rally plus the 1-2 finish in the Power Stage was enough to build an uncatchable points gap to Hyundai.
Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta finished the rally in P5, ahead of Oliver Solberg who won the WRC2 category in Chile.
Gus Greensmith, Sami Pajari, Yohan Rossel and Nikolay Gryazin rounded off the top 10.
The WRC resumes in four weeks time at the new Central European Rally with stages in Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria. The service park is located in Bavarian city Passau, in the South-East of Germany.
WRC Rally Chile 2023 – Results
|#||Drivers||Car||Time / Diff. to 1st|
|1.||Tänak / Järveoja||Ford Puma Rally1||3:06:38.1|
|2.||Neuville / Wydaeghe||Hyundai i20 N Rally1||+42.1|
|3.||Evans / Martin||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+1:06.9|
|4.||Rovanperä / Halttunen||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+2:11.0|
|5.||Katsuta / Johnston||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+4:41.5|
|6.||Solberg / Edmondson||Skoda Fabia RS Rally2||+8:18.5|
|7.||Greensmith / Andersson||Skoda Fabia RS Rally2||+8:44.3|
|8.||Pajari / Mälkönen||Skoda Fabia RS Rally2||+9:20.6|
|9.||Rossel / Dunand||Citroën C3 Rally2||+9:53.9|
|10.||Gryazin / Aleksandrov||Skoda Fabia RS Rally2||+10:08.2|
WRC 2023 Drivers’ Championship – Standings after Round 11/13 [Top 10]
WRC 2023 Manufacturers’ Championship – Standings after Round 11/13
|1.||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||466|
|2.||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||360|
|3.||M-Sport Ford WRT||247|
Photos: Red Bull Content Pool