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Evans Claims Victory at Croatia Rally: Tanak and Lappi Round Out Podium



WRC 2023 Croatia Rally

Elfyn Evans has secured his first victory of the season, and his first since the Finland Rally in 2021, at the Croatia Rally, with Ott Tanak taking second place and Esapekka Lappi finishing in third.

Elfyn Evans emerged as the victor of the Croatia Rally, with most crews focused on bringing their cars home on the final day. Ott Tanak finished second, 27 seconds behind Evans, without taking any risks due to the issues he faced on Saturday. Esapekka Lappi finished third, 58.6 seconds behind, bringing his Hyundai home.

WRC 2023 Croatia Rally

The rally’s finale included four stages located north of Zagreb. Trakoscan – Vrbno, which features a lakeside castle dating back to the 13th century, was followed by Zagorska Sela – Kumrovec. These two stages were repeated, with the latter being utilized as the Wolf Power Stage.

Evans had a good start on the opening stage, extending his lead over Tanak by 30 seconds after setting the third-fastest time. Despite finishing behind Kalle Rovanpera, the stage winner, Evans’ confidence was enough to widen the gap.

Tanak managed to narrow the gap slightly by finishing 1.3 seconds ahead of Toyota on the following stage. However, the drivers were struggling with confidence, feeling that they could have performed better. During the second run of Trakoscan – Vrbno, Tanak managed to slightly reduce Evans’ lead. Nonetheless, he stated that his primary goal was to secure second place by bringing his car home safely.

Tanak remained true to his word, and despite the challenging conditions, he focused on bringing his car home safely. Meanwhile, Elfyn Evans clinched his first victory of the season, and his first since the Finland Rally in 2021. However, Evans seemed to be more preoccupied with the absence of Craig Breen than the final outcome of the race.

Upon winning the race, Evans expressed how insignificant it felt compared to the loss of their friend, Craig Breen. Despite working hard to achieve this victory, the focus shifted immediately to the absence of their dear friend.


Tanak, on the other hand, was not entirely satisfied with the performance and consistency of his car. He acknowledged the good points earned and hoped to improve the speed in the future.

Meanwhile, Lappi comfortably secured third place for Hyundai, without taking any risks and ensuring a good finish. The Finn’s podium finish provided some relief for the team after a challenging few weeks.

After securing third place, Lappi expressed his relief and acknowledged the difficulty of the rally for everyone. He credited his smart driving for his podium finish, which was crucial for both him and the team.

Meanwhile, behind Lappi, Rovanpera and Ogier were engaged in a close battle over the first three stages of the day. Ogier started strong by finishing SS17, 3.7 seconds ahead of Rovanpera and moved up to fourth place. Rovanpera made further progress in SS18, gaining another 5.4 seconds on Ogier and increasing his lead to 6.2 seconds. However, in SS19, he only managed to gain an additional 0.1 seconds.

Rovanpera managed to extend his lead over Ogier and clinch fourth place with a final gap of 9.3 seconds. Ogier’s teammate, Takamoto Katsuta, finished sixth, and Pierre-Louis Loubet secured seventh, making him the final Rally1 car to finish in the top ten.

During the Wolf Power Stage, Thierry Neuville earned the maximum points, beating Kalle Rovanpera by 0.9 seconds. Ogier followed in third place.

Yohan Rossel emerged victorious in the WRC2 category, finishing ahead of Nikolay Gryazin and Emil Lindholm. Although Oliver Solberg finished third in the category, he was not eligible to score points in this round.


After the completion of Day Three and SS20 at WRC Rally Croatia, the final positions have been determined.

1Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1)2h50m54.3s
2Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1)+27.0s
3Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Hyundai i20 N Rally1)+58.6s
4Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1)+1m18.3s
5Sebastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1)+1m28.0s
6Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnson (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1)+2m22.5s
7Pierre-Louis Loubet/Nicola Gilsoul (M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1)+4m22.6s
8Yohan Rossel/Arnaud Dunand (Citroen C3 – WRC2 winner)+7m51.3s
9Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Skoda Fabia RS – WRC2)+8m07.4s
10Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (Skoda Fabia RS)+9m16.7s

The current standings of the WRC Drivers’ Championship after four rounds are as follows.


The current standings of the WRC Manufacturers’ Championship after four rounds are as follows.

1Toyota Gazoo Racing154
2Hyundai Motorsport126
3M-Sport Ford108

You can visit, which serves as the official website for the FIA World Rally Championship. To enhance your WRC experience, you can opt for a WRC+ All Live subscription that lets you watch all stages of each rally live and on-demand, regardless of your location and at your convenience.

WRC 2023 Croatia Rally Evans Claims Victory WRC 2023 Croatia Rally Evans Claims Victory WRC 2023 Croatia Rally Evans Claims Victory WRC 2023 Croatia Rally Evans Claims Victory WRC 2023 Croatia Rally Evans Claims Victory

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