Rally Poland 2024, Saturday’s Report

The second full day of this rally would have 124km’s over seven stages. Could Andreas hold on to his lead or would the Toyota duo of Kalle and Elfyn move past the Hyundai crew? Of course, Ott and Martin would return to the action and open the road throughout the day.

Well, first up was SS9 Świętajno 1 – 18.50 km and Kalle was fastest from Elfyn and Andreas. The Finns pace brought the gap to Andreas down to just half a tenth of a second in their battle over the lead and amazingly Elfyn was only another 1.1 seconds back in third.

The slightly longer SS10 Gołdap 1 – 19.90 km was again won by Kalle from Elfyn this time, whilst the former leader Andreas fell to third place, 4.6 seconds behind the new leader. Thierry was third fastest in the stage and gained one place, moving into sixth overall.

Into SS11 Czarne 1 – 22.40 km, the longest stage of the day and Andreas hit back with the fastest time from Elfyn and Kalle and with the two crews behind the leader going faster, the lead which Kalle held was reduced to just 2.1 between them all.

The short SS12 Mikołajki Arena 3 – 2.50 km and Kalle was fastest from Thierry and Adrien. Elfyn was just four tenths of a second behind his teammate.

After the service break next was SS13 Świętajno 2 – 18.50 km and Kalle was fastest again from Andreas, whilst Elfyn had a rear tyre delaminate, losing all the tread but not fully exploding. The Welshman lost 7 seconds in the final sector of the stage and was now behind Andreas and in third.

Just two stages left then to decide the finishing positions at the end of Saturday and the first of these was SS14 Gołdap 2 – 19.90 km. Kalle was again fastest from Thierry this time and Andreas third. Elfyn still held third but was now 13.3 seconds from Kalle. Further back, Thierry, with his great pace was now just 2.4 seconds behind Martins who had driven brilliantly all day and was still holding fifth overall.

Time then for the final stage of the day, SS15 Czarne 2 – 22.40 km and Kalle made it six stage wins from seven, with Elfyn second fastest and Andreas third. The cool news was that Martins held off Thierry for fifth place at the end by just one tenth of a second. There were moments for both of the crews in this one meaning it could have gone either way.

Let’s take a look at the top positions and hear from the drivers.

Classification after Day Two

1 K. Rovanperä J. Halttunen Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid 2:00:44.0
2 A. Mikkelsen T. Eriksen Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +9.4
3 E. Evans S. Martin Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +16.1
4 A. Fourmaux A. Coria Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid +37.0
5 M. Sesks R. Francis Ford Puma Rally1 +58.2
6 T. Neuville M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +58.3
7 G. Munster L. Louka Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid +1:24.5
8 T. Katsuta A. Johnston Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +1:41.9
9 S. Pajari E. Mälkönen Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 +5:46.5
10 O. Solberg E. Edmondson Škoda Fabia RS +6:12.8

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Kalle Rovanperä

“I tried my best the whole day. The morning loop was better than yesterday, but it was still tricky like expected for us with some small surprises. I would have wanted to be a bit faster there, but it was a good fight. The afternoons are definitely more enjoyable, as I know better what’s coming and can drive with more of a normal pace and feeling about the stages. Nothing is certain yet. The gap is small for tomorrow, which is still quite a long day with a different type of stages. I think it will be tougher than today, maybe the toughest day for me in terms of our preparation and pacenotes: we need to work a lot this evening and try to be quick tomorrow. I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but we’ll keep trying our best.”

Elfyn Evans

“It’s been a big fight out there today, especially this morning when it was all quite tight. It was a clean morning from our side, and we were feeling pretty good in the car. Unfortunately, we had a setback with the tyre issue in the first stage of the afternoon. It was very sudden, and I wasn’t sure what had happened at first. but we just lost the tread completely. We lost a bit of time, and when it’s this tight, that was pretty much the end of the fight for today. We tried what we could but couldn’t claw back the time. Still, overall, it’s been a better weekend for us up to this point. Tomorrow is a new day with a lot of points up for grabs. We’ve got to try and keep a good rhythm, keep doing what we’ve been doing all weekend, and see what that brings.”

Takamoto Katsuta

“The feeling in the car today was much better than yesterday. The only frustrating thing is that the times were not so good, but I think this was coming from the conditions that we had with our road position. They were very difficult, especially during the second loop in the afternoon, running first on the road with a lot of cleaning. Even under braking it was difficult to know how much grip there was because there was a lot of sand in the ruts. When it was wide and high-speed without so many ruts, we could have similar split times to the leaders, but when it was narrow and rutted, I was losing a lot of time. Tomorrow I’ll try to do my best and improve my driving and try to find more confidence to push in the next two rallies.”


Hyundai Motorsport

Andreas Mikkelsen

“I think we have to be happy with our day, we drove really well today. Rovanperä is obviously very fast, so we have to take big risks. I took the risks I was willing to take knowing the car still has to finish for the points, so I was happy with the outcome. We used a slightly different strategy on the second loop with some more hard tyres, and on the first stage after service this looked like a good choice, but on the second and third stage the wear was not so high. Tomorrow, we need to keep the pressure on Rovanperä, there are 60 kilometres to do tomorrow so it’s a decent day with some tricky stages, so if we push it we can gain a lot of time. We will discuss it as a team and tomorrow we will see.”

2024 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 07, Rally Poland
26 June – 30 June 2024
Andreas Mikkelsen
Photographer: Austral
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Thierry Neuville

“We pushed hard across every stage today trying to catch the next two positions; we got Gregoire very quickly and we knew that if we wanted to catch Martins, we had to push more this afternoon. Considering there was still a lot of cleaning this afternoon, I think we have done a really good job. I am satisfied but really disappointed for that 0.1, I lost it in one corner and missed a few tenths there. We are struggling here a bit this weekend, but it is expected being first on the road, we knew it would be difficult being sixth overnight. The stages are really fast, they can be really fun when you are driving but then you look at the stage times and it’s not quite the same. Tomorrow we will push even harder and hope to close that 0.1 second gap to make it into the top five and bring home as many points as we can from Super Sunday.”

Ott Tänak

“Together with the team we decided to retire for the day after midday service in order to fully focus on tomorrow. Unfortunately, after yesterday we had to open the road today which is obviously pretty challenging here. We have still been trying to get into the rhythm for tomorrow where we can score ourselves some good points. Yesterday our running was very limited so our time on the stages this morning was important in understanding the speed and adjust to it so hopefully we can push for some Super Sunday points.”



Oliver Solberg

“Generally, the day has been a little bit better today,” said the Monster energy athlete. “I think we’ve been in the top-three [WRC2] times all day, which has allowed us to climb back up a little bit.

“Tomorrow is going to be a big fight, with [Robert] Virves still quite close behind us. In the last stage today, me and Elliott [Edmondson, co-driver] were just giving it everything. We were pushing like hell. We cannot do that all day tomorrow, but let’s see where we are and what the times are like.”



Well, what a day. Apart from a brief interruption with some spectators on the first stage just being in the wrong places.

What does Sunday hold for the crews then? Well, there are four stages with 63km’s before the end of the rally. Who will walk away with the top points from Sunday and can Kalle take the win, or will either Elfyn or Andreas move back up?

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