Rally Croatia – Day Three Report – Sunday

The final day then and with 54.78km’s over four stages would we see a straightforward drive to the finish, or perhaps we would have some drama instead!? Gregoire would open the road throughout the day.

First up was SS17 Trakošćan – Vrbno 1 – 13.15 km and Takamoto started really well, winning the stage from Adrien and Elfyn. Thierry was fifth fastest and this meant that Elfyn had closed the gap to the Belgian to just 2.6 seconds. It was game on for the win. In WRC2, the top three remained Nikolay, Yohan and Pepe both in the stage and on course for the WRC2 podium.

The following stage, SS18 Zagorska Sela – Kumrovec 1 – 14.24 km, though had huge drama though and being the first run of what would be the power stage this would be significant! First of all, Adrien clipped a anti-cut device and broke his steering arm. He drove across the bridge and pulled off at the side of the road. Once the steering arm was replaced he completed the stage. There was fifteen minutes lost which is quite amazing really. Then Elfyn also had a spin, collecting a tree branch on the way and lost 19.6 seconds. Then Thierry came through and also went off the road, quite badly damaging his car. He lost 23.3 seconds and fell to third behind Seb and Elfyn. Ott won the stage though from Takamoto and Seb. In WRC2 Yohan was fastest from Nikolay and Nicolas.

Time then for the penultimate stage and Takamoto was fastest from Elfyn and Ott. Seemed the drama was not over as Seb understeered off the road and went up a bank. The Frenchman completed the stage with the fourth fastest time, his lead now from Elfyn just 6.4 seconds.

Onto the final stage then SS20 Zagorska Sela – Kumrovec 2[Power Stage] – 14.24 km and Adrien was super committed through the stage and his time was not overcome. The closest driver was Ott, who was 3.8 behind the Frenchman, Seb was third fastest, Takamoto fourth and Elfyn fifth.

Seb had won the rally from Elfyn and Thierry was third. In WRC2, Nikolay won the category from Yohan and Pepe.

Let’s take a look at the final standings and hear from the drivers.

Final Overall Classification – Croatia Rally

1 S. Ogier V. Landais Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid 2:40:23.6
2 E. Evans S. Martin Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +9.7
3 T. Neuville M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +45.8
4 O. Tänak M. Järveoja Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +58.6
5 T. Katsuta A. Johnston Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +1:55.5
6 A. Mikkelsen T. Eriksen Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +4:01.0
7 G. Munster L. Louka Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid +5:11.0
8 N. Gryazin K. Aleksandrov Citroën C3 +9:21.3
9 Y. Rossel A. Dunand Citroën C3 +9:59.5
10 S. Pajari E. Mälkönen Toyota GR Yaris +10:22.7

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Sébastien Ogier

“I’m very happy to take this victory. It’s been a tough weekend: we knew that coming here with our start position, but we pushed the whole weekend, we never gave up, and put the pressure on as much as we could. I think I never had so many moments in one rally, pushing the limits like this, but most importantly we brought it home with a win. One hundred podiums is a nice number and it’s great to reach it with a victory. I enjoy every opportunity I have to drive these cars and it’s nice to see we still have some speed. I’m super happy for the team, even if we can’t make so much difference in the points. It’s been a great team performance and let’s keep pushing like this.”

Elfyn Evans

“There’s a feeling of disappointment today. It started off pretty well in the first stage this morning, but we were too optimistic with our tyre choice and with the hard tyre it was a struggle in the second stage: this corner was quite full of mud and the rear came around. You’ve got to be in it to win it and it didn’t work out today. Still, the weekend was generally pretty good with a big fight the whole way through and second place at the end. It’s a great team result and nice to battle with Seb. It doesn’t feel like the team has been fully rewarded for that one-two in terms of points, but that’s how it is.”

Takamoto Katsuta

“It’s been a good weekend for me as I was gaining more and more confidence throughout. Already on Saturday, some stages felt good, and I just tried to continue in the same way and I had an even better feeling in the car. I was a bit disappointed with the Power Stage where I was a bit too careful, but everything else went well today. We were fastest on Super Sunday and scored some good points for the team, which makes me very happy, and it was a good result for the team overall. Next time I want to be better from the start of the rally and then the result can be much better, but it’s been a good weekend overall.”


Hyundai Motorsport

Thierry Neuville

“While we didn’t finish how we would have wanted; we have been well rewarded for our great drive on Friday and Saturday. Those are important points and despite not scoring many today, we were still the third-best performers – equal with Elfyn – and we only lost one point to Ott. SS18 was really tricky, and I tried my best to avoid an impact immediately hitting the brakes but there was nothing I could do. I am happy to still be in the lead and to retain the advantage, however Portugal is going to be tough for us from our road position.”

2024 FIA World Rally Championship Round 4,
Croatia Rally 2024, 18-21 April 2024
Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid, Action during Day 3 of WRC Croatia Rally 2024
Photographer: Romain Thuillier
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Ott Tänak

“It’s incredible to finish as the second highest-scoring crew. Our weekend was tough once again; we started from a very bad place, and I gave away some time in the beginning. We recovered a bit on Friday afternoon, and then on Saturday we tried to experiment a bit ahead of today to try and help us maximise our road position, which was also tricky. We were always just a bit too far behind to get enough dirty road, so it was a constant challenge, but we managed to collect some good points. I’m hoping to have a better feeling on gravel from Portugal and be more competitive, as the target will be to start taking back some points.”

Andreas Mikkelsen

“I was expecting to be a bit closer to the front during this event, even though I knew I was going to struggle here. I haven’t done the rally in the last few years, so it was a struggle, especially as there is so much pace note information to take on. When I don’t know the stage by heart, it is hard to have the commitment you need to fight at the front, and the speed here is very high. I was missing confidence in the driving, but we were going in the right direction, but I was hoping for more.”


M-Sport Ford WRT

Grégoire Munster

“I’m just happy we had a trouble-free event! This can now launch our season, which didn’t start exactly how we wanted. It was a very demanding event, with difficult stages where you need full commitment. So, to finish the rally, we are really happy, and with the improvement in the gaps to the other crews from 1.5s/km on Friday to around 0.5s/km at the end of the weekend, it’s all heading in a good direction.”

Adrien Fourmaux

“It’s been a good weekend for us. We’ve been fighting with Ott for the first two days, we were missing a bit of performance sometimes, and were trying things with the set-up. But we found something really good on Friday’s last stages. Then the rain was supposed to come so we had to change things, we had to make a guess based on the conditions, but once we went back to the set-up we had on Friday the car felt really good.

“We’ve been able to push a lot. We made one mistake, a small mistake with big consequences, which is a shame. But it’s like that, you have to be perfect everywhere here. We stayed on the road, but we hit a concrete pole [on SS18] so we just decided to fix it and push really hard on the Power Stage to score the points. We got the maximum points, which is great, my first Power Stage win, and this is really positive.”

William Creighton (WRC2)

“Overall, a tricky weekend with some drama on Friday night and today, but I guess that’s rally Croatia. The positive is that we showed good pace at points throughout the weekend and whilst we still have a lot of work to do, it’s promising with not so much experience in the Fiesta Rally2. A big thanks to everyone at M-Sport for looking after Liam and myself during a busy few weeks, and of course the support from the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy who have supported me all the way.”


Well, what an astonishing rally! Seb and Vincent came through the drama of the final day to take victory. His teammate came in second place and with Thierry third and the Belgian was not allowed to increase his championship lead over Elfyn.


2024 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 4

1 T. Neuville 86
2 E. Evans 80
3 A. Fourmaux 59
4 O. Tänak 53
5 S. Ogier 45
6 T. Katsuta 45
7 K. Rovanpera 31
8 E. Lappi 23
9 A. Mikkelsen 14
10 O. Solberg 12


2024 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 4

1 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 176
2 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 169
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 96



The championship moves onto Portugal next month to be held from the 9th to the 12th of May.

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