Rally Poland 2024, Sunday’s Report

The final day then of this rally, the seventh round of this year championship. What would the stages bring to the results at the end of the rally and ultimately the championship standings?

Just 63 km’s over four remaining stages stood in the way for the crews to navigate. Of course, Ott and Martin returned to the action and were looking to fight for the maximum points available on the final day given the points structure.

First up then was SS16 Gmina Mrągowo 1 – 20.80 km and Ott was incredibly committed through this, setting such a fast time that even the later runners would not beat it. Kalle came closest but was still 1.2 off the time set by the Estonian crew, whilst Elfyn was third and moved into second overall as well. There was some drama for former rally leader Andreas as he took a hit on the rear right of his i20 when going through the narrow section of the stage, damaging the tyre and this led the bodywork to be damaged by the flailing rubber. He lost two positions, falling behind Adrien who was driving so well, the Frenchman was now into third overall.

Next was SS17 Mikołajki 1 – 10.73 km and Ott was fastest again from Adrien and Thierry, just nine tenths of a second covering the top three. The other news from this stage was that Thierry moved ahead of Andreas and the Belgian was now in fourth overall.

Onto the penultimate stage then, SS18 Gmina Mrągowo 2 – 20.80 km and this time it was rally leader Kalle that was fastest from Ott and Adrien third, again just 1.8 seconds covering the top three again. Andreas also dropped a further position, falling behind Martins, the Latvian now back into fifth place overall.

It was time then for the final stage, SS19 Mikołajki 2[Power Stage] – 10.73 km and Ott set the early pace before Thierry came through and beat his teammate’s time. Next to finish was Adrien who was ahead of Elfyn in the Sunday standings, and he would have a strong finish to the rally. Unfortunately, Elfyn had yet another puncture and after setting a good pace earlier in the stage there was a rock on the line which damaged the tyre on his GR Yaris. The Welshman lost more time and was only seventh fastest in the stage. The top five was Thierry, Ott, Kalle, Adrien and Takamoto.

Meanwhile Kalle and Jonne had taken victory for Toyota, their thirteen of their career, with Elfyn and Scott taking second position and Adrien with co-driver Alex was third for M-Sport Ford.

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

Final Overall Classification – Rally Poland

1 K. Rovanperä J. Halttunen Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid 2:33:07.6
2 E. Evans S. Martin Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +28.3
3 A. Fourmaux A. Coria Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid +42.7
4 T. Neuville M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +1:10.8
5 M. Sesks R. Francis Ford Puma Rally1 +1:47.0
6 A. Mikkelsen T. Eriksen Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +2:16.6
7 G. Munster L. Louka Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid +2:18.0
8 T. Katsuta A. Johnston Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +2:26.7
9 S. Pajari E. Mälkönen Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 +7:50.7
10 O. Solberg E. Edmondson Škoda Fabia RS +8:12.7


Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Kalle Rovanperä

“It has been an amazing week and quite a tough week: we have been working hard and I feel quite tired now! With the limited preparation we had, it was not so easy on this kind of fast rally where you need to keep pushing. I think we did everything we could, working all the time with the tight schedule that we had and keeping to our plan on the stages, and it all paid off in the end. Sunday was still an important day with many kilometres and technical stages. We tried to keep the pace we had yesterday, be safe enough to bring home the win but also grab some more points. At the finish we managed to bring quite a lot of points for the team, which was the aim for us when we got the call from the team on Tuesday, so I think it was a good idea to come!”

Elfyn Evans

“At the end of the rally our overall position is good. The Sunday points are almost just as important, and we tried to get as many as we could today. It was all going OK, but unfortunately, we had an issue in the Power Stage with a puncture: there was a rock on the line and there was not a lot I could do. We only lost a few seconds, but with this points system a small issue like that can penalise you a lot, so it was disappointing to finish the rally this way. Our speed this weekend was not bad: Friday was good with the road position we had and Saturday was also going well until the tyre issue. It’s definitely the case that the feeling in the car is much better than in the previous rallies. We need to carry that forward, build on what we learned here and look to do a good job in Latvia.”

Takamoto Katsuta

“Congratulations Kalle, Jonne and the whole team for this result. For me, it has been a difficult rally. I was struggling a lot on Friday morning, and this cost me afterwards, with a more difficult starting position for Saturday and Sunday. It was hard to do much on this final day and get the good result we wanted for the team. At the same time, I was learning a lot about how to drive well in this kind of condition. We had some good sections and some good feelings, and we need to bring that to the next rally in Latvia, and also improve the things that were not so good so that we can be better there.”


Hyundai Motorsport

Thierry Neuville

“Mission accomplished. We knew this event would be difficult for us, but we kept the motivation high. There was no reason to push more than what we felt comfortable with considering we were first on the road on Friday and didn’t have great conditions on Saturday. There was no real chance for us to work on the set-up, so I just had to follow my gut and push hard for the Power Stage. We were balancing the risks we could take and the speed we needed to go, but in the end, we take home some good points and look forward to what is to come.”

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

Andreas Mikkelsen

“There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend. Had we not had the tyre off the rim, I think we could have kept the pressure on Kalle and be fighting for the podium. I felt we had a bit of bad luck as we had been using the banks tactically this rally to keep up the speed through the corners, but it is what it is. After that, it was just about getting the car to the finish to secure the points for the team.”

Ott Tänak

“We did everything we could today, but it is obviously a huge shame our weekend finished so early so we could not know where we could be. I’m sure we had the pace to compete, I had an OK feeling in the car and felt fine, so I am pretty sure the basis is there. Obviously, our road position for the past two days has made it difficult to make a conclusion; we need to carry on and hopefully improve a bit in between now and Latvia and see how we go there.”


M-Sport Ford WRT

Adrien Fourmaux

“For sure I have enjoyed my first time competing in Poland! The stages here are truly incredible, so unbelievably fast, and we can be really happy with the pace we’ve shown.

“It’s really encouraging to get a podium on the first of three fast gravel rallies, so I’m looking forward to Latvia and Finland. We’ve had three third places this year already, so now the goal is to reach for the top two positions.”

Mārtiņš Sesks

“It was an incredible weekend. Every first time is very special, as I am so thankful for this opportunity to M-Sport, WRC Promoter, Rally Latvia, and our partners. We really did not expect to finish fifth. But I enjoyed every second of this active learning.”

Grégoire Munster

“We are quite satisfied with our pace, and we had our best stage result in stage four, being second fastest. The gap compared to the fastest has been reduced, so it is a step forward. We learned a lot this weekend that we can carry into Rally Latvia, where we will try to benefit from our start position and have a good result.

“We also managed to keep Takamoto Katsuta behind, who is a far more experienced driver and who is normally performing well on these types of rallies. We also missed out on a point on the Power Stage by a couple of seconds, but overall I’m happy about the weekend.”



Oliver Solberg

““I’m happy with this result. Of course, you know me, I always want to win, but given the conditions and the place on the road and everything else, I think second here is as good as we could have hoped for and expected. “Running further up in the order on Friday, the road was quite dirty, and it was hard to find a clean line. Driving in those kind of conditions, there’s not so much grip around and it can be difficult to find confidence – especially when the roads are high-speed and narrow.

“Friday was a tough one. Saturday was better, the car was giving me a bit more confidence and things working more as we like it. We went into Saturday in fifth place and came out in second with some stage wins – I was happy with that.

“For the final day it was a little bit more of the same, the stages weren’t quite so fast – a bit more twisty and technical. We were around 30 seconds off the lead, and it wouldn’t have made sense to push all-out for the win. We came here needing some good points and we’ve done that. If I’m completely honest, I’m a bit disappointed. We won Royal Rally before this, and I was feeling good for the fast rallies.

“Rally Poland is definitely a little bit different to any event I’ve done before, with the soft surface and the ruts and it did take us a while to dial the car in. From here we go to Latvia for another fast event – I know those roads a little bit more, so I’m really looking forward to being back out in the Škoda in just over two weeks.”



Well, what a return to Poland. Let’s deal with the spectator problems first and this was the original reason this event was left off the calendar for the last seven years, with spectators standing in dangerous places in the last time this round was in the WRC in 2017. Sadly, on Friday and Saturday we did see a return of some people behaving in the same way and this led to some stages being red flagged, delayed and some crews being given notional times.

Let’s have a chat then about the top three.

First up Kalle and Jonne. What a drive from the champions. Receiving a call on Tuesday asking them to come and compete after the incident involving Seb and Vincent during recce and virtually zero preparation with special dispensation to complete a short recce after shakedown on Thursday, to then come through and take victory is incredibly amazing.


Next up their teammates Elfyn and Scott. They showed great pace all weekend, overcame two tyre failures to finish on the podium 28 seconds from the winner, who knows what would have happened? They have however closed the gap to Thierry and Martijn in the fight for this season’s championship, which is a good thing. They’ll hope that they can do the same thing in Latvia next time out.


It was another great drive from Adrien and Alex to a third podium of the season. They set a few top three times on a rally which they had never competed at before and delivered a consistent drive, avoiding any problems. It is fantastic to see the young crew really delivering and leading M-Sport Ford’s charge this year. Long may it continue.


Here’s the points standings –

2024 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 7

1 T. Neuville 136
2 E. Evans 121
3 O. Tänak 115
4 S. Ogier 92
5 A. Fourmaux 91
6 K. Rovanperä 63
7 T. Katsuta 58
8 A. Mikkelsen 29
9 D. Sordo 27
10 E. Lappi 23


2024 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 7

1 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 311
2 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 301
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 156


Next up is Rally Latvia taking place from the 18th to the 21 of July, giving the teams and crews time to prepare. Look out for my preview ahead of that weekend.

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