Elfyn Evans has topped the timesheets in Rally Chile’s shakedown. The Toyota driver set a fastest time of 3:59.6, 0.5s faster than his team-mate Kalle Rovanperä.
Rally Chile returns to the WRC this week for the first time since the inaugural edition back in 2019.
Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä heads into the weekend with his first mathematical chance of winning his second world title. Rovanperä’s chances are low, however, as the Finn has to outscore Evans by 27 points to clinch the title with two rounds remaining.
This effectively means that Rovanperä has to win this weekend and score at least 2 points in the Power Stage, while Evans can’t score more than 3 points.
Rovanperä was second-fastest in shakedown, 0.6s ahead of M-Sport’s Pierre-Louis Loubet. Teemu Suninen gets his third Rally1 outing for Hyundai this season in Chile after starting in Estonia and Finland. The Finn was the fastest Hyundai driver in shakedown, 0.2s behind Loubet and 0.2s ahead of Takamoto Katsuta.
Thierry Neuville set the sixth-fastest time, a tenth of a second shy of Katsuta and 4 tenths faster than Ott Tänak.
Esapekka Lappi was 1.8s slower than his team-mate Neuville in P8, ahead of Rally1 debutants Grégoire Munster and Alberto Heller. Both Munster and Heller are driving Rally1 machinery for the first time in their rally careers.
Emil Lindholm set the pace in the WRC category. The Hyundai driver clocked a time of 4:12.3 in his third run, 1.9s faster than second-placed Gus Greensmith who completed shakedown twice. Oliver Solberg was 0.8s shy of Greensmith but only did one run of shakedown.
Ceremonial start later on Thursday
Later on Thursday, there will be a ceremonial start in the city of Los Ángeles. The rally starts for real tomorrow. There a three stages scheduled to be run twice on Friday, totalling 112,86 competitive kilometres.
WRC Rally Chile 2023 – Shakedown results
|#||Drivers||Car||Time / Diff. to 1st|
|1.||Evans / Martin||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||3:59.6|
|2.||Rovanperä / Halttunen||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+0.5|
|3.||Loubet / Gilsoul||Ford Puma Rally1||+1.1|
|4.||Suninen / Markkula||Hyundai i20 N Rally1||+1.3|
|5.||Katsuta / Johnston||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+1.5|
|6.||Neuville / Wydaeghe||Hyundai i20 N Rally1||+1.6|
|7.||Tänak / Järveoja||Ford Puma Rally1||+2.0|
|8.||Lappi / Ferm||Hyundai i20 N Rally1||+3.8|
|9.||Munster / Louka||Ford Puma Rally1||+5.0|
|10.||Heller / Allende||Ford Puma Rally1||+8.0|
Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing