WRC: Thierry Neuville dominates Spanish Rally as Sebastien Ogier loses ground

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Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Martijn Wydaeghe of Belgium compete with their Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC during Day Two of the FIA World Rally Championship RACC Catalunya on October 15, 2021 in Salou, Spain.
Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Martijn Wydaeghe of Belgium compete with their Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC during Day Two of the FIA World Rally Championship RACC Catalunya on October 15, 2021 in Salou, Spain.
Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images

Thierry Neuville continued to control the Spanish Rally on Saturday as Elfyn Evans kept alive his chances of catching Toyota teammate Sebastien Ogier in the title race.

Neuville, who won the last three stages on Friday, reeled off all three on Saturday morning but said after the final stage that he could have gone faster.

"I had a good stage," he said. "I was a little more careful in this one there were a lot of cuts and I don't want to risk the punctures. Still struggling with understeer. Without that we could have been faster."

Ogier, who entered the rally leading Evans by 24 points in the standings, was fourth in every stage. Evans finished ahead of the Frenchman twice.

"Not too bad in here to be honest," said Evans explaining he was also having problems cornering. "Still struggling a bit with the car rotation. I just can't get on the power early enough and hold my line, so we need to work on that."

The Welshman stayed second and, while he lost ground to Neuville, dropping to 9sec back, he increased his advantage on Ogier, who is third, to 23sec.

Ogier had another problem. With the Hyundais seemingly growing stronger on the sweeping asphalt roads, their Spanish driver Dani Sordo, in fourth, closed to 0.2sec behind Ogier with second place and a 6.1sec gain on the final stage of the morning.

For Jari-Matti Latvala, the Toyota team boss, the title battle between his two drivers meant his glass was at least half full.

"Its always for the championship best when the fight is decided in the final rally," he said after the morning stages, before switching his attention to the team title, where only Hyundai could catch Toyota.

"Looking like Neuville is running away, which means the championship fight will continue. Let's hope we can get two cars on the podium. That's the most important thing for the manufacturers' championship," said the Finn.

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